* Posts by Annihilator

2934 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple recalls first iPod Nanos over battery flaw

Annihilator
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Unhappy

Boooo...

Frantic scrabble in the drawer to discover it's a 2G that I owned. Bugger, was hoping for an early christmas present under the assumption they just send out the new Nano as a replacement.

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Now Russians can't even contact their busted Mars probe

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ISS is in a lower orbit, so not really much help. As for a "moonbounce", I think you overestimate just how little signal comes back from the retroreflectors on the moon, something of the order of 1 photon/second.

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Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies

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Happy

:-D

"Sri Lanka! Formerly Ceylon, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night"

I'm off to dig out the DVD and bore the arse of my fiancee, I'll pass on her thanks in advance.

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Annihilator
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By the same token as Wayne's World

I submit Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure for consideration...

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Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita

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Wooo!

Second hand, deprecated stuff, cheaper than original, news at 11.

A product can't get a good review simply by virtue of it maybe being cheaper some day, nor should buying a non-existent-yet third-party adapter be a mitigating factor for the ridiculous new memory card format. I'd be surprised if they came out for a while (it's only for the Vita it seems, so Sony don't need to licence it as they're not trying to permeate the market like the MS Pro etc) plus it's likely the memory cards have proprietary signature/encryption to try and prevent the previous jailbreaking attempts that went on, presumably something similar to MagicGate.

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Meh

Bespoke

"A bespoke memory stick - meaning my existing Pro Duo is not supported?"

Aye, the PS Vita Card. Expected costs to be around 3x the cost of regular flash. Just as Sony were phasing out the Memory Stick from their camera ranges, they go and fire the shotgun into the other foot.

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BOFH: Licence to grill ... stupid users

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Facepalm

@Cheeky Chappie

I think you've just been hooked by fishing rod v7.6. If you'll inspect the wall behind you, you will see if large divot where the joke flew over your head and cracked the plaster.

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Feargal Sharkey moves on from UK music org

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Shame he's leaving

After all, a good heart is hard to find...

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Eurozone crisis: We're all dooomed! Here's why

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@Jonathan Richards

cap'n clearly works for Travelex or something, and longs for the day of Filton pounds, Bedminster pounds and the fine Long Ashton Farthing. This way, he can reap the benefits of the now boom industry of currency exchange!

Only question I've got, if it's the Euro going tits up, and we're so smart for not being involved in it, why the hell is it going to rain shit on us too? As it turns out, it seems to have made little difference whether we were in the Euro or not.

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Apple posts 'battery fix' iOS update

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Jump

Maybe I jumped the gun then... Plugged phone in this morning to sync/charge, iTunes notified me. Would probably still be sitting there running the update had I not thought something was amiss..

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Annihilator
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Meh

Backwards

Note that although the new "over the air" option now exists, iTunes will alert you to update your phone when you plug it in, and then prompt to download the 700MB firmware. You then have to intuitively think "ooh, hang on, isn't there an OTA smaller option?", cancel it, and search for the software update in the settings of the iPhone (46MB). From what I can tell, there's no auto-notification on the phone itself.

a) why couldn't the phone alert you instead of iTunes allowing you to go straight to the OTA option and b) why can't iTunes manage to recognise only the 46MB download is required?

Hardly intuitive...

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Apple kills code-signing bug that threatened iPhone users

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Meh

Fair point, my bad. You can understand my suspicion though, as it would only add to the list of security problems with iOS 4.2.1 which will never be fixed (the PDF one being the highest profile)

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Is Apple nobbling iPhones to avoid more patent misery?

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Boffin

re: I know code well enough

You know code well enough on an extremely small scale from what you're describing. Deleting or commenting out code just doesn't happen at an enterprise scale without massive consequences. The only thing that is of any concern is this - *you have changed the baseline*. By doing so you've negated all the end user test cases, regardless of how confident you are that you haven't impacted anything outside.

"This is only dangerous if for some strange reason your little app is tied in with the rest of the code in the software."

It's not an "app". And yes, it *has* to be intricately tied into the keyboard code, of which there will be shared code and modules across it. You cannot say for certain which pieces you can remove and which you can't.

For clarity I'm not talking as an Apple hater or lover, they're a company, I really don't get emotionally charged by such things. I'm talking as a former developer, tester and test manager. Change the baseline and I will have no choice but to run the regression packs on everything that the code you've meddled with touched. And consider how many use cases invoke the keyboard on an iPhone - hint, it's most of them. If you merely *disable* the option, I'll have tested that already - it's a valid use case to test against.

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Annihilator
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Nice

You've just doubled my workload, thanks

Signed, Mr Test Manager

You've just doubled my workload, thanks

Signed, Mr Software Config Manager

etc

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Annihilator
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Boffin

@Rob Dobs

To "remove" non-working code from a major development is entirely non-trivial. There are all manners of shared modules that you have to decide whether to remove or not, and regardless of traceability you would end up re-testing the entire stack. Having the feature disabled will have been a test case already, and so require minimal re-work.

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@Drakkenson

You've just described Android..

I'll get me coat.

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Nazi Star Trek episode finally broadcast in Germany

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Happy

Not just baddies

He also manages to work it into his charms with the ladies...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VuIShM5kAQ

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Annihilator
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Aired unedited

I've seen it, and would only have seen it on TV. Every chance it was Sky 1 though, when all they did between 4 and 7 each night was alternate the ST franchises.

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Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

"No laws"

I'm confused, I recall that Return To Castle Wolfenstein was denied a German release due to the overt references to Nazi Germany, and that all references to it had been banned under law?

So is it illegal, or isn't it?

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Renault Fluence ZE

Annihilator
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Meh

A third of the cost

I'm working out that it's about £7.50 in lecky charges for a full "tank" to do (say) 100 miles.

I'm also working out that to get that same range in my current car (40mpg-ish on average) is about £14.50 on today's prices, so double the price.

But factor in the battery leasing costs and my finger in the air guess is the cut-off is you need to be commuting 50miles per business day before it makes any sense.

You also don't end up with a car that's restricted to a 100mile radius from your house (50 if you want to get back again that same day).

Lecky cars are certainly the future, but batteries aren't the powerstation answer. They simply can't hold enough or charge fast enough. I'd be amazed if the national grid's infrastructure were in a position to cope with the demand if we started switching too.

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Immigrants face £49k wage minimum to stay

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Trollface

Bait

Currently scouring the Daily Mail website, looking for the misunderstood article with the headline "Immigrants given £49k a year on benefits of tax payer's money!"

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Lemmings

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Happy

Touch control android

Really?? Touch control?? As if clicking the right lemming in a crowd of a 100 wasn't hard enough already!

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Russian Mars mission launches after multi-year delays

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Again??

Haven't they just got back from Mars?..

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Ryanair ponders in-air mucky movie service

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Optician: I think you need to stop masturbating.

Patient: Why, is it making me blind?

Optician: No, you're upsetting the rest of the waiting room.

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Annihilator
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Happy

Reporting what the Sun reports that O'Leary has said. I'd be amazed if el Reg was able to even look in the mirror

Back in the real world though, I'm sure an airline was considering scrapping the current in-flight systems and replacing it with iPad (or similar) for all, as the weight saving alone would translate into spectacular fuel/cost reductions and more than pay for itself. Cannot for the life of me remember who though, Quantas maybe?

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Comp-sci boffin aims to REPROGRAM LIFE ITSELF

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@Filippo

"Normal everyday living cells can *already* run viruses"

Blindingly good point there, worth remembering where the word "virus" originates!

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re: Dangerous?

"This sounds horribly dangerous. I don't know enough about biology..."

Good man, don't let lack of knowledge or understanding get in the way of a good fear-mongering response. I admire your determination and know a website that will welcome you with open arms. You'll find it by pointing your browser to dailymail.co.uk

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Apple shovels $400m in stock grants to top execs

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Happy

re: Ives

I think it's safe to assume that his remuneration could be categorised as "quite a lot of wonga"

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Annihilator
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Good move

Usually when a CEO leaves, several of the board follow them, so smart thinking here by Apple..

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Sony Alpha SLT-A35 translucent mirror camera

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Spot on

One of the many disadvantages compared with DSLRs. At least with a regular mirror you can clean it with minimal care (at worst you degrade the preview image). But I would imagine the image sensor is better protected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-lens_translucent_camera#SLT_compared_to_other_digital_cameras

Not a fan of SLT or DSLM. In terms of size reduction, once you've stuck a corkingly large lens on it, the difference is negligible. Especially if you're carrying 2 or 3 lenses.

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Best Buy to shutter all UK megastores

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FAIL

re: ?

Completely ignoring the fact it's an English word and in the OED I see... Good work, carry on with your indignation.

The fact *you* have never heard of it does not make it an Americanism. Even if it were, to pull the shutter down on our language (see what I did there?) and never accept any outside influences would be an even sadder day. Perhaps we should be talking and writing only as Shakespeare did, and never change. As for how good my Greek is, an ironic reference, given about 25% of "our" language descends from Greek.

But don't take my word for it

http://boingboing.net/2009/01/07/stephen-fry-on-the-b.html

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

And Best Buy is a company originating from.. where?...

Besides, to "shutter" something is to bring the shutters down, close the shutters, for a prolonged or permanent time. It's not an Americanism per se.

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"I get an 8% discount at DSG stores"

So still being ripped off then... :-)

Fingers crossed for a fire-sale at BB anyway. In their defence, the one I've been into (Bristol) was the nicest laid out tech shop I'd seen in a long time. Certainly beat DSG stores in terms of on-shelf demos.

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Hard disk famine shaping up as predicted after floods

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Facepalm

Philosophical

The question is usually "if your family needed bread/food". It's c) a clear self-deprecating dig at the mundaneness of the IT crisis compared to the humanitarian crisis in Thailand.

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Boffins spy on iPhone screens from 200ft away

Annihilator
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90º

Who needs to hold it at 90º? It's working on the reflection. Even if I had it on my lap, I'd only be tilting my head around 40-60 degrees, giving anyone in front of me with a perfect view via my (in this case non-existent) glasses.

The biggest flaw in the scheme is that glasses wearers are in the minority.

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Goldeneye 007: Reloaded

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Meh

For England James?

My only question on this release is "why?"

Yes Goldeneye was great on the N64 and many a happy uni night was spent thrashing my flatmates, but the world has moved on. Rehashing an old game with modern-day tech has its limits. At least with Doom and Wolfenstein they reinvented the story as well as the tech.

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Is the electromagnetic constant a constant?

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More

I'm offended at people being referred to as "scientists" and not "boffins". Ricky Gervais pales into insignificance in terms of slights.

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Boffin

One missing

I thought that too, but then remembered that it's also possible to measure the distance of stars using trigonometry based on it's position in the sky compared with where we are (measure the angles once in spring, once 6 months later - your reference points are now 300,000,000km apart and you can draw a very slim triangle and solve for the "height")

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Ginormous sunspot spews solar guts towards Earth

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It's probably

global warming...

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Ten... Blu-ray disc players

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Boffin

One reason

The only reason not to get a PS3 in the mix is because despite best efforts, it's quite fugly when stacked with a bunch of other equipment under the TV, and has to be "top of the pile"

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Alien city lights could be detected across interstellar space

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Boffin

Independent evolution

"Here on earth eyes have evolved several times independantly"

Correct, but the common factor isn't "physics", it's speculated that it's due to our star's spectral emission peaking in the "visible" light spectrum. In other words, although the Sun emits pretty much the entire spectrum, it's brightest at ~550nm - the centre of what we call visible light. Colours are effectively a myth, or at the very least just a handy guide to gradation that we came up with.

If life were to evolve on a planet around HAT-P-9 for example (an exo-planet was discovered there, but a gas giant), the peak would be between "blue" and UV. Optical senses would likely be centred around there, making their "yellow" our "blue".

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Seeing is believing

I thought the theory for why we see in "visible" light is due to that wavelength range being the peak of our sun's radiation spectrum.

Presumably, if eyes (and light) were to evolve around a different star, their "visible light" would be different to ours and their light emissions offset too. Not to mention when you consider red-shifts for each world, we'd be looking for any light, pretty much discernible from the system's light emissions.

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Massive PC shortages to hit this Xmas

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PC World

Happened to be in a PC World today, and they have a sign up limiting HD purchases to 2 per customer due to the flooding.

That's 2 more than I'd ever buy in there, but ho-hum...

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BOFH: We don't need no stinkin' upgrade

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We all do that from time to time to keep the ladies happy though, right?...

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Duke Nukem Forever dev slams unfair reviews

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Meh

Maybe he fell asleep for 10 years

As I recall, HL2, HL2:Ep1, HL2:Ep2 were reviewed highly. So yes, evolutions of a game can happily be good.

To that end, you could argue that Portal & Portal 2 were spin-offs of HL, and were still good.

For his HL vs DNF argument to work, he has to be saying that they've just re-released one of the original DN games without any advancement, and is upset that people think it's stagnated.

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PlayStation Network downloads limited to two devices

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Two is all you really need

It enables you to transfer it between two machines and deactivating the old one afterwards.

Presumably the only reason it needed to be 5 previously was because there was no way to deactivate a product/system?

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Nude lady recreates Star Wars tauntaun scene in dead horse

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Yes

If you were opening a restaurant and selling it to people.

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Apple iOS 5's hidden 3D revealed

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Boffin

Uhm..

3D rendering *is* supported in any app you care to write for it, through OpenGL and DirectX. It's powered by the PowerVR GPU built into the A5 processor.

Besides, advertising has its place in the world. Even the sign outside a shop telling you it's a kebab shop is a form of advertising. Hosting a corporate website is advertising. To call it a cancer is a tad overdramatic.

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iPad 3 to debut Q3 2012 as iPad 4

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@Def

Evil Dead 2 or Reservoir Dogs though?..

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Boffin

Are we rationing electrons now?

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