* Posts by Matthew 17

278 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Philae's either screening Rosetta's calls or isn't home

Matthew 17

if the comet melts as it gets closer to the Sun...

It'll leave little Philie on it's own to orbit the Sun, we'll have our first artificial comet then.

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Apple about to make Apple TV WAY LESS SUCKY - report

Matthew 17

UK media rights problems

One of the big problems is that the likes of Sky seem to have bagged the rights to anything you'd want to watch forcing you to buy into their expensive crappy service.

I quite like the ATV as a device, however the content is very small and what's there is far, far too expensive to consider.

I tried Netflix, liked the idea however almost everything I searched for wasn't there.

I can listen to almost anything I fancy on iTunes or Spotify, it's a shame there isn't an equivalent service to let me watch the same level of content.

Will have to stick to Popcorn-Time for the moment I feel.

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Honey, I shrunk the Windows footprint

Matthew 17

Re: Apple Internet Recovery

Assuming you have a backup, the internet recovery downloads first, this is a tiny program so your tortoise should be OK, you can then rebuild your machine from you backup.

If you're really concerned about such things then keeping an 8GB USB stick with an OSX installer on would save on the download time. But as hard drive disasters are rare having to wait for the OS to download and install isn't going to be that much of a hardship.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

Matthew 17

It's the reason I bought a £5000 Mac Pro

As it will increase the prestige of everyone who could only afford a Mini.

You're welcome by the way.

:)

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Matthew 17

Will always remember our first colour set

We had a big 13" B&W Hitachi set and in the middle of Dr. Who (Tom Baker), in walks my father with a ginormous 24" colour set from Granada, it was like being at the cinema, you could flip through the 3 channels at a push of a button without having to tune a dial. It would break down almost every month, they eventually swapped it for a 26" model but that had similar reliability problems. We bought a 28" Phillips set that was Nicam Stereo, scarily huge, weighed as much as the moon.

These days I have an old Pioneer 43" 'Kuro' plasma set, it doesn't have all the nonsense features of modern sets but I like the picture, cost a fortune when I bought it but worth very little now. Never been a fan of the huge sets folk seem to buy, they looks a little bit chav wedged into small living rooms.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Matthew 17

similar to improving the sound of your MP3's by using a different hard drive

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/hificritic/vol5_no3/listening_to_storage.htm

They've spent all this money on the cable and only reached Cat6a, for £10 I could have bought a Cat7 cable!

In your face Audio Quest!

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ZX81 BEATEN at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown

Matthew 17

He can use a few more bytes to fix it, still beaten the 81 :)

I remember when a friend of mine got a new ZX81 for Christmas (I would have been about 8 or 9 I think), he had it hooked up to a small portable TV set in his parents kitchen. Simply by switching it on and typing something it was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen.

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Apple patch shields Macs from Thunderstrike

Matthew 17

Is this an issue for any PC using EFI

or just Apple computers?

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SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS that 2014 was record HOTTEST year? NO

Matthew 17

When people state that they've seen the effects of climate change..

How old are they? They must have lived for thousands of years to have been able to observe these changes.

The planet is 4,000,000,000 years old (ish), therefore 4,000,000,000 (ish) of weather and climate.

If the average temp is 0.02 degrees warmer than last year or the other year or whatever then how can you draw any conclusions from it given the miniscule pluck of data?

We've about 80 or so years of temperature records, less for global data, for the most part these weren't very accurate, the conditions where temperatures have been recorded have changed so difficult to really conclude anything.

If we get some hot or cold weather that we've not had in a region for 10, 100, 1000, or 10000 years you still can't really draw any specific conclusions from it given we're talking about 4,000,000,000 years of history.

The correlation between temperatures and Co2 is not that stark and breaks down over the last 15 years. With ice-core samples it showed that Co2 rises follows temperature rises when the oceans warm and degass.

It's been colder, hotter, dryer, wetter, the Co2 has been lower, it's been much, much higher yet the only time bad things seem to have happened was when it was cold (huge storms). For the most part the Earth has been ice-free.

The press are putting out these panic-stricken stories implying that a tiny increase in average temperature over a dataset of only a few years is proof that mankind is fucking things up. But the reality is, whether we're affecting the climate or not the rate of change is tiny and it's always changed. In a hundred years all our fossil-fuel shenanigans will be obsolete and the Co2 we emit will have long dropped and the world will continue doing what it's always done. They're spending an absolute fortune studying a problem that isn't really a problem, there's a million more pressing issues facing humans which are being ignored because of the obsession with the weather.

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Matthew 17

is there any content for these screens?

My telly is about 7 years old (a humble 43" 1080p pioneer set), I have a 'smart' pioneer BD player that lets me stream stuff from my computer as well as watching DVD's, BD's, Netflix etc.

Now I could swap out the TV for a nice pimped 4k screen but I'd still be watching 1080 content.

Sure I could use the real estate on my computer but that's about it.

UHDBD players are still a bit of a myth as is any content, I can't stream it over the Internet (yes technically Netflix and similar are claiming to be offering 4K content but the bitrate is so low it'll have a quality comparable to a 128kb/s MP3)

so the only application I can think of is for anti-aliasing if I have a huwge 60+ in screen and I'm sat with my nose pressed to it.

a bigger difference would be if films improved their frame-rate as they're still stuck in their ancient 24 frames per second.

Or am I missing something?

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

Matthew 17

Long overdue

Nuclear power stations were designed to create weapons grade components for arms, the electricity was simply a byproduct. If you build power stations specifically designed to be as efficient at producing electricity then they're no good if you want to blow people up. They're cheaper to run also.

China is putting big money into developing Thorium based reactors, I think it's clear that we'll see a paradigm shift in our power generation in the not too distant future where the West adopts this technology in order to stay competitive with them.

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

Matthew 17

If time was going backwards....

How would you know?

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Matthew 17

How much energy would you need....

To produce your own magnetosphere for your craft, has to be lighter than adding in conventional 'shields'.

Would make your ship glow as the solar wind hits it to entertain the crew during their trip to Mars

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Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Matthew 17

Re: What's so great about Blade Runner?

When it appeared it was unique, the first film to present a distopian view of the future since Fritz Lang's Metropolis from the 1930's!

Visually it's wonderful, sonically legendary, the whole feel and vibe make it totally unique.

The original theatrical cut is a bit lame, but the director's cut is sublime.

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Matthew 17

The only Ridley thing that's got the potential to be interesting is...

The 3001 Final Odyssey series, IMO it's always been a pity that only 2 of the books were made into films.

There's no reason to make another BR film, the original one, despite being the best film ever made lost money, no-one who loves the original wants a follow up, no-one else would be interested. All hollywood has to offer these days is endless sequels, reboots and Marvel films. It's a multi $billion industry devoid of an original idea or story.

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Matthew 17

Re: How Possible?

No, as

A) - That was only relevant to the original studio release after Scott was sacked from the director's chair, the studio added the daft voice over and happy ending. There were no such prototypes in the Director's/Final Cuts of the film.

B) - No as Scott maintained that Deckard was a replicant, hence the whole unicorn scene (and of course 'too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?')

Finally having Ford in it is no assurance of quality, think of the god-awful Indianna Jones 4.

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I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

Matthew 17

Re: Scratch that, reverse it Edge of Tomorrow...

What bothered me mostly about the plot was Blunt had the ability to reset but lost it following a blood transfusion.

How could she know that she'd 'lost' the ability, she didn't know how it worked when she had it, only finding out after the first and subsequent resets, therefore the only way to know she'd lost it would be to die and discover that she was now dead, not much use. Sure she felt 'different' but you would if you'd just come out of hospital following major surgery. Presumably she'd lost the ability and decided not to risk getting killed again when TC conveniently turned up.

TC losing the ability and getting it again for that odd final reset seemed a little crowbarred in, still, enjoyed the film.

Article

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Dead pilot named in tragic Virgin Galactic spaceship crash

Matthew 17

RB's real interest isn't space, that's just a bonus.

His machine will enable you to fly from London to Melbourne in 3 hours, there's a lot of potential there.

It's rubbish that this happened but given it's all new it's unrealistic to have expected there wouldn't be setbacks, however they'll get it right (they're not far off), it'll be certified as flight ready and will change the world.

As soon as my numbers come up I'm buying a ticket.

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Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display

Matthew 17

Gorgeous

However, I wish they'd update their TB screen, at £800 they're looking a bit dated and over priced.

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One hard ghoulie: 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins

Matthew 17

C64 version for me

Put in countless hours on that game, run the arcade version in my MAME cab.

Another Halloween themed classic on the C64, Cauldron, well worth a punt

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Matthew 17

How much energy would you need....

to create your own magnetosphere for your craft?

The solar wind is electro-magnetic. If you can power large electromagnets you'd deflect the radiation round the hull of the craft protecting the cargo. You'd be surrounded in aurora borealis every time the wind blew which might be nice but more practical than trying to make a heavy lead-lined spaceship?

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Post-PC era? PAH! Apple says Macs OUTSOLD iPads in Q4

Matthew 17

Still think tablet computers are a gimmick

Long live the PC (& Mac)!

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iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

Matthew 17

Lovely, but can I have a 5k screen for my Mac Pro now please

The current TB screen, whilst awesome it a bit low on the ol' resolution.

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No one wants iOS 8 because it's for NERDS - dev

Matthew 17

Re: 6GB download?

This is one reason for the slow take up, yes the download is 1GB but as the installation process encrypts your device it needs 6GB of free space to complete the install and encrypt your device, as a lot of users don't have 6GB free and can't be bothered removing stuff, installing then copying it back they're staying with 7. TBH though as 8 has been a bit buggy I think the take up will be slow until 8.1 appears and resolves these issues.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Matthew 17

Re: I dont get it.

To an extent but you remove all the pollution from urban areas so the air quality would be significantly improved, also the ambient noise from traffic would be reduced also. There are a lot of gains to be had with electric cars. The downsides are the short range (reduced further when driving in Winter and you don't have an engine to heat the car, so reliant on AC all the time), long refuelling times and maintenance costs particularly for battery replacement.

Still the technology is moving in the right direction and when it starts becoming a viable option for most people we'll see a lot more of them.

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Why US Feds and g-men kick up a stink about a growing smartphone encryption trend

Matthew 17

Tin foil hat but.

Wouldn't it be fairly straight forward to falsely claim that the phones all have uncrackable encryption just to simply silence those concerned about the authorities listening in?

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Matthew 17

The perception is legacy

When CD's first appeared they were fairly hideous, plastic sounding things that illustrated the weaknesses of the low resolution, my first CD player had an 8-Bit DAC in it to exaggerate the problem.

Then in the 90's CD players started using bitstream which was basically oversampling or anti-aliasing and their sound quality was transformed. That said the vinyl purists had already made their mind up and and advancing technology wasn't going to change that.

When MP3's appeared they were generally quite low bit-rate, 128k was the norm, maybe 160 if you were lucky. They did all kinds of odd things to the sound, a highly compressed pop track sounded fairly normal but an orchestra sounded like a Casio keyboard. FLAC was preferable as it retained the CD quality. MP3's improved as the bitrate went up, now usually 320k and you can't tell the difference, however the FLAC purists are the new vinyl-types and have already reached their conclusions.

It's a pity that we're still using MP3, MP4 has much better compression enabling decent HD audio with sensible file sizes, there are few devices around these days that don't have sufficient CPU power to play them.

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Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

Matthew 17

The Moon has more to offer.

Whilst a trip to Mars would be spectacular it has less to offer that can be monetised.

If Russia, China or whomever start mining the Moon they will be unstoppable.

The ISS is a bit of a lemon, another temporary structure that will be ditched in the ocean soon enough. A permanent facility on the Moon with a focus on extracting raw materials from space could transform energy and manufacturing. Launches from the Moon with its lower gravity to harvest asteroids should be more efficient once the infrastructure has been established. With their 'fuckit, it be reet' attitude to engineering they might be able to pull it off without haemorrhaging anything like the $billions Europe or the US would require to do the same.

Interesting times ahead.

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Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK

Matthew 17

is it quiet?

A lot of these attached storage boxes are really loud. Not ideal for a studio.

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Apple gives fanbois The Sweetest Thing: A delete button for that U2 album

Matthew 17

Re: For goodness' sake

This!

However if you set iTunes or iDevices to 'automatically download all purchases' then the album would appear locally on your machine and not just in the iCloud to stream from. Where you'd then spend all of 5 seconds removing it just as you'd remove any other track or album you no longer wanted.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Matthew 17

Worked for Prince

Caught his recent tour, he asked the same, most people were happy to oblige.

It made for a better concert as the audience actually engaged with the world rather than just hiding behind a little screen.

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Wetsuits, sunshine, bikini babes and a competitive streak: Epyx California Games

Matthew 17

Great game

Not quite as good as Winter Games or Hypersports but spend a crazy amount of time on games back then.

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Matthew 17

Why doesn't it already do this

Hell my cheapo Sony BD player supports DNLA and MKV files, my PS3 also.

Don't MS market their machine as being the only box you need for all your media?

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Matthew 17

Can you watch ANYTHING in 4K yet?

As sexy as they are I can't see it catching on for a while yet, most folk seem happy with DVD never mind BD/1080p. I fear it'll be like SACD, as long as it's good enough few see the benefit of upgrading.

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Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins

Matthew 17

If only they'd let Jesus into their hearts

God wouldn't have wiped them out!

Maybe

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Matthew 17

compression

The reason most modern music recordings are overly compressed with a very narrow dynamic range has nothing to do with codecs or lossy data compression it's because so much music is portable played on tiny earphones. If you play an old recording on modern iPod earphones it's so quiet you can hardly hear it as all the transient peaks massively limit your headroom. In the old days we'd have big speakers and headphones powered by big amplifiers, if it was too quiet, turn it up! You can't now as the kit doesn't have the headroom to do this so compressing the dynamics enables the whole thing to be played much louder on the small equipment. The reason classical music still has dynamics and isn't overly squashed is because the listeners of that sort of music still tend to play it at home on a larger system.

When I've mastered albums myself for music I've made as I much prefer the old sound and dynamics I've produced the music accordingly and it sounds great on my trusty B&W speakers, however try and convert it to MP3 and play it on an iPod then it doesn't know what to do with it, sounds all wrong and is very quiet. So I use limiters and compressors and all kinds of tweaking to make it as loud as possible, all the subtlety is gone but it works on the go. Active speakers aren't new and using DSP's to correct for room irregularities isn't new either, higher bitrates and better codecs were tried with SACD's and DVD-A's but they failed as most folk just don't care about the quality of sound and they have a very high tolerance for distortion. As long as they can hear the song then it's good enough for them. I think what's also interesting is that when MP3 first appeared it sounded all wrong, the compression sounded alien. Everything sounded electronic and fake. However after nearly 20 years of it we've gotten used to it. If I play a classic CD or LP to my teenage son or his friends who've grown up in this modern audio era the old less compressed & more dynamic audio doesn't sound better to them, it's not the nature of sound quality they've grown up with or heard.

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

Matthew 17

how are they likely to be in Winter?

An internal combustion engine keeps the car nice n warm and the ice away. An electric car is going to need a big fat heater to stop them freezing which would kill their range?

I'd like electric cars to work, the local air quality is bound to be miles better if/when they become the norm.

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Matthew 17

non issue

99% of computer owners don't ever open them up to upgrade a component.

We're the 1% that will, the machine isn't aimed at us.

This machine has a reasonable amount of RAM for the hardware so should perform well, those that buy it will be happy with it I'm sure.

And yes, Apple kit is a bit more than say a Dell, but when you trade in an Apple for a new one you get far more back so the upgrade costs are cheaper. A Dell depreciates faster than a Ford Mondeo.

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Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here's a fix

Matthew 17

started with 10.7

Apple decided that ~/Library should be invisible in Finder, no idea why but have to 'unhide' it every time I reset permissions.

Didn't have this issue with /Users but it was fixed almost immediately.

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Fix capitalism with floating cities on Venus says Charles Stross

Matthew 17

When I first learnt about the atmospheric makup of Venus..

I thought 'hey a cloud city would be possible, awesome!' However, it is possibly the driest place in the Solar System, always going to be foggy too.

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No longer a 'hobby', Apple TV rakes in ONE BEEELLION DOLLARS

Matthew 17

Cook's gone down in my estimation

He used 'off of' instead of 'from'.

Bad Cook, go and sit in the corner!!

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Lost artworks by Andy Warhol found on 80s-era FLOPPY DISKS

Matthew 17

The art isn't really that great though

It's hardly the loading screen for Shadow of the Beast now is it!

I remember rescuing loads of MOD-tracker songs I'd written on the Atari ST and Amiga, had to format discs in MSDOS format and copy the files from the original floppies to those, load those into a PC, copy them all to a USB memory stick, then load that onto my Mac. Took quite a while but was an interesting process to get them there.

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Matthew 17

blame complacency of the West

It's easy to poke fun at the US, but the story is the same all over. In the developed world life is fairly easy, it's been that way for a long time now. We have no real concept of true hardship. There's an entitlement and expectation culture that's grown as a result, our politicians squander $trillions and we barely bat an eyelid, there will always be more. You don't really need to worry yourself about science or engineering or how it all works as that's all done for you. There's precious few people these days that actually know how it's all done, how say a TV or smartphone actually work.

Science is made boring, it's taught as pointless arbitrary subject rather than as the history of discovery, how we went from living in caves banging things together to ward off demons or a solar eclipse, setting fire to witches, that sort of thing to be able to cure diseases, travel faster than sound, transmit information around the globe at the speed of light, send probes out into interstellar space and take selfies with our phones. The things we got wrong, the hardships that were undertook to get us here, the knowledge that was squandered and lost for generations, the fragility of knowledge and how easy it is for it to be lost. We've come so close, several times to being completely wiped out, but no-one cares.

However if you look at developing countries, there's that hunger for knowledge, to progress, the discoveries and engineering milestones will be made in your Chinas & Indias all whilst the West sleep until we're all wondering what went wrong and go cap in hand asking them for a job.

Something is going to let go this century big time and I hope it doesn't catch us all asleep when it happens.

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Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen

Matthew 17

Re: Hateful

I'm 6'6 and of the big hand variety (sized 15 feet too), those large 'droid phones that you see folk use are too big to use one handed comfortably, you have to hold in one and prod with other. Liked the smaller form factor of the iPhone, if I want to use something bigger then there's the iPad. Also with the constant size changing then any dock or car adaptor is no good again, only just had to replace everything to make it Lightning compatible.

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Matthew 17

Hateful

WTF is it with smartphones getting continually bigger, who wants this?

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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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