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* Posts by Matthew 17

245 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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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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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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