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* Posts by Matthew 17

233 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Matthew 17

How long would it take Curiosity to drive all the way over there?

6 months? What if the alien moved?

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

Matthew 17

Re: I don't want a larger phone

I don't want one either, these huge slabs folk seem to be walking around with these days are getting silly, it's like the 80's all over again. I like a small iDevice that fits inside my pocket without getting damaged. I do wish they'd stop dicking about with stuff.

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US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

Matthew 17

They need a fire extinguisher to fly them there

I saw it in that documentary 'Gravity', maybe they've just not seen it yet

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Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past

Matthew 17

Not a bad game

The appeal of the sequel was mainly that awesome theme tune, the game itself was a bit slow and clunky and that end 'sequence' just pissed you off!

I think 'Gods' was the BMB's finest effort however - 'Into, the wonderful!'.

The Amiga was impossibly cool when it first appeared, it did make PC's and whatnot look silly, but for only a moment, all other platforms were able to catch up and massively overtake it, Commodore were able to introduce some modest improvements to it but it still had a lot of the limitations from the original machine that they were never able to improve upon, the Video Toaster was cool though.

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Apple flops out latest OS X Mavericks beta, hopes sound+graphics sorted

Matthew 17

New OSX' always breaks audio

10.9 broke audio sure, it was fixed by manufacturers updating their drivers, same story with 10.8 and 10.7 and 10.6 etc.

If you're using your Mac for something audio-production related then you always hang on before installing a new OS to ensure any issues have been worked out.

If you're just dicking about looking at cat pictures and whatnot then you can dive in straight away without any real fear of a problem.

Nothing new or usual here.

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Apple fanbois DENIED: Mac Pro deliveries stalled until April

Matthew 17

Interested to actually see one

I've been interested in replacing my MP for yonks, the iMac, whilst nice enough doesn't have enough horsepower for my Logic productions, slightly frustrating it keeps being pushed back, wanted to see one in the flesh before placing the order.

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Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

Matthew 17

The horizontal kits are more practical.

http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/home-page/2014/1/31/rack-mount-kit-for-a-new-mac-pro-or-two.html

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Matthew 17

Re: Wii failed

I had one and those games, they looked awful, Nintendo were hoping to release the PlayStation as a plug in to the SNES but the deal went sour and they had to cobble the N64 at the last minute, it's the Atari ST of consoles. Being a Cartridge system with the low ROM capacity that brought made it the poor cousin to the DreamCast and PS1. The N64 was another machine I wasted money on only for it to sit under the telly forgotten.

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Matthew 17

Re: Wii failed

Possibly, he'd rather play COD or what ever with a pad than stand up waving his arms about. If you want exercise then you go outside.

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Matthew 17

Wii failed

I remember when this thing came out, was supposed to be the hottest thing in the universe, the must have Christmas present. Typically in Nintendo stylee there were none to be found, I ended up paying £100 over the odds and having to drive 100 miles to meet a bloke in a carpark to obtain one for my Son in time for Xmas. I was a good Dad, I had succeeded where others had failed.

Come the 25th, he unwrapped it, with excitement waved it about and wanted to have a go. Success! However after plugging it in two things became apparent, 1) it looked awful, really bad, the SD analog composite-video output didn't play well with a modern digital HD TV, it looked all blurred and smudgy. 2) he looked really disappointed with it, standing up to play a game was a bit naff and the games were largely hopeless, at least he could play his Game Cube games on it. After 15 minutes it was switched off and the 360 fired up. The only game that got any mileage on the Wii was the Sports game that got bundled with it.

The SNES was epic, it had loads of killer games on it, the N64 looked dated at launch, the GC was great providing you imported your games as none of the interesting titles ever got a UK release. The Wii, just didn't work, was little more than a gimmick and with the HD games on the PS3/360 spoiling you for eye-candy and great titles Nintendo just lost the game.

They should go the way of the Sega and license their back catalogue so they can be played on other systems and remind people how great they once were.

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Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

Matthew 17

Will be getting one - probably

My trusty MP is getting a bit long in the tooth now, still a very powerful machine but shows its age with some plug-ins under Logic X. The new machine is lovely the spec is insane, the fact that you can't build something anything like as fast for the money is also encouraging.

What is frustrating though however is that Thunderbolt devices are so expensive, to add in a decent amount of storage is going to seriously ramp up the cost.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Matthew 17

Probably going to need new hardware regardless

An old XP machine is likely to be a bit old and naff and unlikely to have the horsepower to run Windows 8 effectively.

I've tried converting people to Linux before but they always run into problems with propriety devices, media etc, compatibility etc so I usually just recommend a Mac when it comes to them getting a new machine, I help them get all their data across and after a little bit of handholding to get them started they never have to ask me for help again. My family members that are still using Windows plague me with 'can you look at my laptop?!' questions on a monthly basis.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

Matthew 17

My smart phone has 8 of JMJ's albums on it

They were all bought on LP, then CD, then remastered CD, eventually transferred to MP3 and then my iPhone. He's already made money from me. If I have to pay tax for every device I buy that can play music or video then all content would have to be free to offset that cost rise, then how do you decide who collects the tax and who gets what percentage of the tax revenue? The model wouldn't work.

Despite 'losing' out on revenue due to piracy he's not done bad for himself, I think he should rethink his argument or better do another album it's only been 20 years since his last one, would be nice to be able to afford to take such a long hiatus from work!

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Ban-dodging Mac Pro to hit Blighty's shops as Apple bows to fan fears

Matthew 17

Re: So...

Spec-wise they're a bargain - http://www.iclarified.com/37089/building-a-windows-pc-equivalent-to-the-mac-pro-costs-thousands-more-chart

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Matthew 17

My 40th birthday in March

The new Apple wheelie bin will be the gift to me.

Nothing comes close spec-wise at that price point.

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Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

Matthew 17

Rotten trick however...

When you're teaching technophobes or old people how to use a computer, the first thing you demonstrate to them is that no matter what you type or press you can't actually break your computer, if you do something wrong then computer will simply say 'no' but no harm done.

However in this instance it's not correct, it would be easy enough for anyone having a bit of a button bash to access this menu and cause the problem. MS should release a fix for this.

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BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

Matthew 17

Why are phones getting bigger again?

Seriously, if it keeps going we'll have 80's bricks and 'car' phones again.

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Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

Matthew 17

I like it.

Installed yesterday, definitely made my MBP more sprightly. Most of the new features of the last few revisions of OSX don't really interest me but none of them get in the way of how I use my machines.

Apple sell the hardware, it's where they make their money, bundling their OS'es and software for free improves the value of that hardware further and increases the appeal. Yes their boxes are more expensive than your black plastic Dells and whatnot but the resell value is also much higher which more than offsets the increased cost of the initial purchase.

Microsoft's model is selling software, they don't make PC's, in recent years they seem to have lost their way with Windows becoming a bit of a mess, I think they'd be well to start anew with a completely new OS that has a Rosetta style emulator built in if you wish to run Windows software. Maybe if their cloud-based 'one interface for all' approach ultimately becomes popular they'll have a renascence but Google are certainly getting in the way of that ambition.

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Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

Matthew 17

Re: Too big

I have two 21" screens on my Mac Pro, two is much better for a workflow POV, however with a big screens I get fatigued quickly even with just one. The 27" screens look lovely but I can't sit in front of one for long and have to turn the brightness right down to avoid my eyes giving up.

regardless,having two screens is useful regardless of their size, if I had one mahoosive 27" I'd still feel a bit boxed in.

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Fan whips out own pair of iPhone 32Cs, 'unlocks' mobe using breasticle

Matthew 17

If you've programmed it to recognise a nipple..

Then it'll unlock using a nipple.

To trick it would be to unlock using anyone else's nipple afterwards.

But the new biometric reader doesn't disable the PIN function, so if you're really worried you can still lock your phone the old way

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Asus NV550JV 15.6in full HD notebook - the one we didn't have to send back

Matthew 17

I bought my son the pre-haswell version of this.....

Not a bad machine, looks quite good, nice screen and sound.

Has the usual PC laptop issues though, the battery is poor, the standard SATA drive is very slow, had to put in an SSD and the top bends when you're using it so the track pad gets spurious data and zaps your mouse pointer all over the screen at random forcing you to use an external one.

For its price it's not a bad machine but I think it illustrates the benefit of spending a bit more and getting something with a more solid chassis.

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Boffins: Earth will be habitable for only 1.75 BEEELLION more years

Matthew 17

Re: Can you be more specific as to when the end will come...

It will be a gradual shift where it will eventually become too rubbish to survive/stay.

The planet will still be around for another 3 billion years afterwards, will be as dry as Venus though.

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Matthew 17

We'll be fine

People will start to live off the Earth in the next century or so, if there's WW3 then it'll take longer but by the time the game is up for Mother Earth humans will be all over the galaxy.

What will be interesting is that as each new world will have different environmental conditions the people living on them will evolve separately given enough time they'll all start to look quite different.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

Matthew 17

Thumbs up

So far so good, seems faster, I had no issues with the old OS but the new one so far seems to be an improvement, it doesn't really 'do' anything different from before but it's an OS on a phone so didn't expect different. Looks nicer than before so no issues from me.

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Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Matthew 17

$35 to watch YouTube on my telly....

Why is this news?

There's been a million devices to enable this feature for years, most tellies will do this out of the box anyway.

The awesome quality of YT vids looks wonderful when stretched to 50" anyway.

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PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Matthew 17

Not the same as mobile filtering

If this was the same then it wouldn't be news as ISP's generally already offer a family filter option. This is a government mandated centralised filtering of the internet. A far more questionable prospect.

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Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

Matthew 17

Looks like that in addition to the remake of Cosmos

We should have a remake of 'the ascent of man' too!

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Matthew 17

If Pluto swung close enough to hit Mars it would have melted away before it had chance to do any damage.

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Lasers to carry 622 Mbps Earth-Moon link

Matthew 17

It's nice that the Nazi moonbase is finally getting connected

Will be interesting to see what they've been up to.

http://moonconspiracy.wordpress.com/the-nazis-had-a-base-on-the-moon/

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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Matthew 17

Death knell

The motor industry employs more people either directly or indirectly (filling stations, Halfords, car cleaning, repairs etc). Cars are quite personal things, they provide the freedom to go anywhere at any time without having to pre-book or buy a ticket. If I want to go to London, right now, I could it's 200 miles away but my car is sat outside. When I'm in my car no-one really knows where I am. Cars are great, it's why we're so picky on which one(s) we have.

Now an automatic car, that you just sit in whilst it obediently takes you from A - B would be more of a personal taxi, the performance, handing etc would be redundant, buying a more powerful car would be completely pointless as the car would only ever drive safely and at the limit. The model for a luxury car would be very different, now they'd be a small mobile office, somewhere to write emails, watch a film, update your status, do some eShopping, be sold something, chat to other 'drivers', have a drink or a snooze. But as most car journeys are fairly mundane and you're just along for the ride then the car is then just a personal taxi, when was the last time you cared what sort of car the taxi driver turned up in?

therefore renting a driverless car as and when would start to make sense, you'd pay a subscription and have some kind of 'app' that you could push when you wanted picking up and the taxi would take you, your passengers and shopping to where you needed to go.

It would eliminate traffic jams, streets jammed up with parked cars also. There would be no need for all the street furniture such as traffic lights and matrix signs as the automated vehicles won't need them.

It all sounds bliss, however the automotive industry would be on its arse as people wouldn't be buying cars, nor would they be attached to them as before, they'd simply be an appliance. All the secondary employment it creates would also be in trouble, you'd not need to go to a service station, you'd not need to sit in that cafe eating a £10 bacon sandwich, you wouldn't ask the taxi to go through a car wash or spend the night in a travel lodge to break up the trip, you could sleep in the car.

The list of jobs and industry that would be at risk is difficult to calculate but it would be huge.

You'd also lose that freedom and individuality, the taxis would obviously know exactly where you are, where you went, would log and profile your trips to determine what it could sell you.

I still think it's unlikely to happen soon, if all cars are driven by Google and there's a glitch that causes an accident and someone dies then the driver at fault in the crash would be Google, everyone that bought or signed up to their scheme would now have a car that could kill them and would be reliant on a software update to make them safe. The lawsuits would be incredible and wipe Google off the planet.

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Facebook turns on frigid Swedish ice-maidens in new data centre

Matthew 17

Google get a good PUE because they 'cheat'

PUE is the power used for your IT versus the power used for everything else needed to support it (cooling, power redundancy, lighting etc)

However Google use in-rack UPS' and cooling and then claim the power used by those as part of their IT usage so the PUE figure is always going to be very little over 1 regardless of how efficient the facility actually is.

PUE is clearly a nonsense metric, one that should be sacked off.

Nice facility though, dry cooling is great, providing you have the space to implement it.

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Whoever recently showed us the secret documents: Do get in touch

Matthew 17

*Whomever recently showed....

:)

It's important, sorry.

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

Matthew 17

Great spec

Not sure about the form factor, will make racking it interesting with the bottom-top cooling, those FirePro cards are likely to push the machine beyond my reach, they're $4000 a piece retail! Mega throughput.

Very sexy spec, looks wonderful too, not going to want to hide it on the floor.

I've been holding out for a new Pro for ages, will hopefully be able to finance one of these when they hit, my current machine just doesn't have the horsepower I need any more.

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Interview: Steve Jackson, role-playing game titan

Matthew 17

I had dozens of Fighting Fantasy books

Completely loved them, always thought they were well written and enjoyable, the sci-fi ones were less interesting, some reason the format worked best with goblins and sorcery!

Deathtrap Dungeon and Trial of Champions were particular favourites, would be interesting to see how they stack up now. Time to raid the loft!

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Leaks point to new mystery Macs 'with Jony Ive's fingerprints on'

Matthew 17

Re: Mac Pro

Yes please, I've been hanging on to my old one for yonks now waiting for a new one, none of the other machines they sell are practical for me and wouldn't want to move away from OSX and the software I use.

Sort it out Apple, there has to be a pro market left that is of suitable size to be interesting.

With the talk that 10.9 is to be aimed at 'power users' maybe it'll launch with a new Pro.

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Quantum boffins send data ACROSS TIME AND SPACE

Matthew 17

Re: Fear not the paradox is, paradoxically, not going to happen.

That would mean that to create a time 'spur' you'd need to recreate the mass/energy of the universe less your mass/energy for it to exist with you added to it. Otherwise your 'spur' would just collapse/fail as it would be an incomplete universe.

Proper time travel relies on either all time existing at the same time or the ability to create new universes at will at different time points, the latter might be doable if you don't mind waiting 14 billion years for your new universe to arrive at the required point in history.

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First 'adult' app for Google Glass planned 'within days'

Matthew 17

This could get all a bit 'Strange Days'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yaXPx6xWEQ

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'Ultimate nerd chick’ prompts C64 clone cancellation

Matthew 17

naive, not a scam

The lad obviously had no idea what was involved to create one of these machines, it was set to crash n burn from the off.

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Give it up for Live 8-bit: Muso devs raise dosh for Bletchley Park kids

Matthew 17

Why are softsynths news?

Making a record for charity is great, but decent emulations of classic synths have been around for several years now, as computers get faster these emulations are becoming much more accurate.

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Kepler continues exoplanet bonanza

Matthew 17

Re: Lets listen to it!

You get an awful lot of radio from all of the planets whether they have life on them or not.

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Apple tears itself away from iThings to squash Mac OS X bugs

Matthew 17

Installed this morning

Small download, quick to install, no issues.

Sorry.

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OpenSUSE 12.3 ships, project back on track

Matthew 17

Installed this yesterday....

Seems a lot more polished than previous versions, the tweaks to KDE4 are very nice.

Well done all at OS

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Cache 'n' carry: What's the best config for your SSD?

Matthew 17

Re: Missing - hybrid drive?

I have one of these, they're not slow, 7200RPM, large cache + 8GB of SSD.

I love mine, they're made a huge difference to my MBP and still gives me 750GB of storage to play with. As the caching is at the block level it's invisible to the OS and there's no messing about having to decide what is cached and what isn't.

You notice the difference when you install a service pack or new OS as the next couple of reboots are much slower as it updates the cache and the speed returns.

The only thing I don't like about it is that there is supposed to be quite a difference performance-wise depending upon what firmware is installed on the drive, however there are no tools I've seen for OSX that enables the user to upgrade.

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Apple to stop European shipments of Mac Pro on March 1?

Matthew 17

Be a shame if they stop making them

Hoping to buy one this year, my existing 8-core Pro is getting plenty long in the tooth now, my quad-i7 MBP gets raped by my plug-ins on Logic so to buy something stupidly powerful that will last me years is quite attractive even if it does come at a premium.

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2012 was warmest year ever recorded in USA

Matthew 17

4 billion years of climate, 100 years of climate data

You can obviously draw very accurate conclusions about what is and is not abnormal from such a vast dataset.

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Search engines we have known ... before Google crushed them

Matthew 17

they were terrible

The early search engines were awful, av.com's results bared almost no relevance to anything you typed yet is seemed to be more accurate than the others.

Google was quite a novelty when it appeared as it actually worked.

Dealing with my parents and similar, Google is the internet, as it's set as the home page of their browser, they didn't realise that they were a) using a browser at all or b) that Google was a web page. They'd open IE or whatever and Google would appear. My folks still can't differentiate the two.

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Woz: Microsoft's innovation lead 'worries me greatly'

Matthew 17

Innovation is overrated

New technology, ideas and interfaces are all well and good if they're an improvement over what was there before. The iPhone for example was a game changer as nothing was really comparable to it before, now everything looks like an iPhone. Sure there are alternatives that have flashy graphics and a bagillion features but so what, I like the Mac/OSX interface on the desktop and the iOS interface on the iPhone, it's easy to use, sober and works. I never feel like these interfaces are getting in the way of what I'm trying to do. If Apple decide to be 'innovative' and replace the whole interface for something new then I've got to learn how to use it, try and get my apps and data to work with it and then suffer the transition period where bugs are fixed and software is adapted and updated to work, only to get me to the point I was before. The transition from OS9 to OSX was long, the transition from OSX-PPC to OSX-Intel was smoother but there were plenty of apps that got lost along the way. If Apple decide that OSX is old and need to 'innovate' again with OSXI then the whole upheaval starts again, but for what benefit?

Yes Microsoft have been 'bold' and 'innovative' to scrap the interface they've used since NT3, that everyone knows how to use, has software that works and isn't a bottleneck. So now I have to learn how to do what I could do before, learn how to get on with the new OS and have the upheaval of trying to get everything to work and as well as before. It's new, but why is it better?

If every time a new car came out it had a completely new interface it wouldn't be regarded as innovative or forward thinking, so why is it so for a computer device?

Software developers are under pressure to invent new n shiny, Apple have had a more than its fair share of innovative products that changed the way people use computers, hats off to them, but to be essentially forced to continually abandon what works, and works well, just to be new and different for me is just counter intuitive.

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Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

Matthew 17

Felix is a basejumper...

Why would anyone value his opinion on science, engineering or space exploration?

The $13M spent enabling him to jump from a balloon was gobbled up by all the scientists and engineers that designed and built the equipment needed to let him do it.

I hope the publicity stunt was worth the expense for Red Bull but as the BBC documentary the other day illustrated, Felix is no astronaut nor is he made of the 'right stuff', hiding from the project for a year whilst costs spiralled is illustration of that alone.

Base and big balloon jumping is cool mind so I'm prepared to cut him some slack.

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Apple to ditch Intel – report

Matthew 17

I've no interest in running Windows, however

There was an awful lot of software that was ported to OSX as a result of them sharing the same architecture as PC's. I use mine to write music via Logic, when Intel Macs came out there were a lot of audio plug-ins that became available in intel-only guise. If Apple want to essentially dump the Mac in favour of desktop iOS devices then it would really be a shame, as fancy and whizzy as those devices are they're still just toys for pissing about on, sure you can check your email or browse a website or play a computer game on but anything serious you need a proper computer. Microsoft are heading down the same silly path with W8.

I am getting tired with all this 'you need to move with the times' crap. The software I use is a tool, I need those tools, I know how to use them, they deliver what I need. Having to constantly fanny around learning new interfaces, switching software to find that it doesn't do what it could before, finding existing projects no longer load and software is no longer compatible is just beyond a joke.

There has to be at least a handful of computer users left that still actually do some work on their computers, the direction the market is going in is a cause of concern.

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Apple's skinny new iMac line: Farewell, optical drives

Matthew 17

Re: I think I'll get one

I doubt Apple will turn their backs on the pro / designer market so will offer suitable tin.

It is a shame that there is a growing perception by Apple and Microsoft that no-one does anything on a computer any more other than look at pictures of cats, write a blog or tweet, but there is still a very large industry for creative types who make music or film and a lot of nice hardware and software that is associated with.

Whilst Microsoft never really seemed to care too much about this as it wasn't ever their core focus it was always the original association with the Mac. Apple cultivated this creative image so that using Apple gear somehow associated you with being a creative person.

This is obviously nonsense but there's nothing in the way Microsoft is going that makes it attractive as a platform to attempt to do a professional production on (the sound engineering forums I visit are currently up in arms about the poor performance W8 is bringing despite it's advertised optimisations), so for the time being OSX is still the preferred option despite their insistence of being less pro and more consumer I hope that they'll continue to remember the pro.

Finally, the Mac Pro, whilst a niece and expensive piece of equipment, is reasonably competitively priced as it's server grade hardware, the Intel Xeon CPU's alone run into 4 fingers but they do have crazy memory bandwidth. Price up a similarly spec'ed Xeon-based machine from HP, Dell or IBM and they're all priced on the wrong side of loony.

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