* Posts by Richard 12

1598 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Power to the people - if you can find a spare socket

Richard 12
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Most 4-way BS1363 extensions are rated at 10A or less.

Do not uprate their plug fuse, they really can't take 13A.

You do see quite a few that really are rated at only 5A.

Piffling tiny copper busbars inside and thin flex is usual.

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Richard 12
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Re: You should see our data centre

Don't you mean CEEform sockets?

Never heard them called "commando" before though.

Blue ones are 230V, red 400V, yellow 110V to name the three most common.

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Richard 12
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That's a widow maker.

If it passed a single PAT, fire the tester because he or she is utterly incompetent, and a danger to everyone.

A male-to-male power lead should be an instant fail in the visual, you don't need to do anything else to know its a serious fail and immediately destroy it.

Any so-called PAT tester that just plugs the thing into the machine is a waste of space, and by using them your employer is in breach of PUWER, which is actual legislation with criminal penalties.

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Richard 12
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Re: Adaptors.

Great, so he couldn't be bothered to buy an adapter in the airport at either end, so risked burning down the building.

Then compounded it buy yanking on the wire, which you NEVER do under any circumstances whatsoever, because there's a reasonable chance of what he did happening, along with a much bigger chance of damaging the plug.

There's a reason UK plugs have the wire out of the bottom - it's so pulling on the wire doesn't pull out the plug, so people don't try.

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Should Microsoft merge Office into Windows - or snap it off?

Richard 12
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Oh come on, Access is useful

It's perfectly adequate for prototyping DB applications, teaching the basics of relational databases, and for single-user databases - where it's orders of magnitude better than Excel.

The issues arise when people forget it's just a prototype and try to build it up into a multi-user system instead of migrating it.

That's when you get a monstrosity.

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Richard 12
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Re: 'data' != valuable

Most of that data isn't even valuable to the entity who created it!

Even those enamoured of "big data" acknowledge this, hence most of the point of the big data tools is boiling down crazy amounts of data into tiny nibbles of potentially useful information.

Even outside of that, a log file is useless >99.9% of the time, only becoming useful on rare occasions to figure out what went wrong.

The useful stuff is in emails, the important stuff is generally in Word and Excel documents, maybe PDF-d once ready for publication.

- It's very common to bash something out over IM and email, then "write it up" in Word.

Back at the article - it doesn't matter whether MS want to merge Office and Windows together, because if they do that on the desktop they'll be immediately done for abuse of monopoly.

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Humans becoming steadily STUPIDER, says brainiac boffin

Richard 12
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@Robert Long

True, and the morality of this remains both debatable and highly contentious.

Either way, it's an extremely recent societal change and evolution doesn't work on the timescale of individual lifetimes, it takes quite a few Grandfathers.

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Richard 12
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The guy's an idiot

"failure of any one of the [genes] gives rise to deficiency."

Bollocks. Utter tripe. Complete and total bunk..

He's either claiming Intelligent Design by the back door, or that evolutionary pressure on humans completely stopped selecting for intelligence thousands of years ago.

Genes simply change, and the vast majority of changes are neither good nor bad.

Even in modern human society, changes notably for the worse are still selected against (the mentally disabled tend not to have children) - although there is probably still some selection pressure towards being religious.

It does appear that his overall contention is true of his educational establishment though, because he's still there spouting rubbish when he should have been thrown out by now.

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Finally - a solution to let people make money online WITHOUT ads?

Richard 12
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Facepalm

Re: There are no transaction costs when a photographer sells a picture to a newspaper.

So, how does the newspaper find your photo to buy it in the first place, if it costs neither of you anything whatsoever to sell it to them?

In the real world, either the photographer is paying an agent to pitch their photos to the newspapers, they pitch the photos themselves, or the newspaper is paying people to search out photos. Usually all three.

Only the last one costs the photographer nothing - but the photographer almost always gets nothing for them either, because the paper will use the first decent 'free' one they find.

For example, Getty Images is an agency and many freelance photographers have arrangements with a few editors.

The article appears to be describing a way of linking multiple Getty Images-type exchanges together.

As long as you're able to control the price at which your work is sold, then it is to the good - more exposure, and lower cost of doing business.

There is of course a risk of the registries becoming full of useless tat, so newspapers etc don't bother - a risk that becomes practically certain if the 'orphan works' insanity progresses any further.

That would effectively mean not being on these registers would end up 'orphaning' your work, so it's yet another reason why that "orphan works" land-grab needs to be smashed back into both the EU and especially UK Plc's collective faces.

Repeat after me - there is NO SUCH THING as an orphaned work.

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Richard 12
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He said reduce "transaction cost" to pennies.

When you buy a thing, there are several parts to the money paid:

1) Cost of making the individual thing physically transferred to the buyer.

2) Marginal cost of designing/creating the original thing.

3) Marginsl overhead cost of running the shop selling the thing.

4) Profit made by the seller.

If you make and sell intangible copyrighted works, (1) is almost zero, (2) and (3) are your real costs.

(2) has already come down dramatically and are still falling - the cameras and other equipment needed for most artworks cost far less than they did even five years ago - yet the cost of actually licensing the work to another entity and getting your money has barely changed in decades.

For example, the PRS uses most of the money collected in order to run itself - so the transaction cost is high, and very little of the cash gets back to the artists.

If you can radically reduce the cost of licensing and payment (to mere pennies instead of the current rather high prices,) then you will get more profit on your work.

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Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

Richard 12
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FAIL

The photo on mine is my father-in-law and his DOG!

I don't think you could get a more abject fail even if you tried...

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Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs

Richard 12
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Re: G

SAP is "sap", as in "sapping my will to live."

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Nokia woos disgruntled iOS users with rebranded maps service

Richard 12
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Re: The POI are generally wrong though

Take a look at a motorway sign.

What colour is it?

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Richard 12
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The POI are generally wrong though

For example, my local library is in completely the wrong place, and my local pub is missing entirely!

How can I trust a map that doesn't show every pub?

The two things about iOS maps that annoy me the most are very simple though:

The colour scheme is wrong. They appear to be using the same USA colour scheme throughout the world, regardless of the local conventions and laws. Motorways are BLUE and major A roads are green, that's what the Highway Code says. Both yellow is just horrible, you can't distinguish them.

It is incredibly slow. Google maps takes a second or so to start displaying, iOS maps takes upwards of ten.

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Even a CHILD can make a Trojan to pillage Windows Phone 8

Richard 12
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That's why I both like and hate the Android scheme

When you download an app you can see what permissions it wants and check if that matches what you think it does.

Which is great.

However, you can't tell it "No, Farcebook, you may not have access to my contacts", which is crap.

However, in iOS and Windows Phone, you have no way of knowing what a given app does - once on board it is permitted to do anything at all to things like contacts etc in the "shared storage" areas, and you have no way of knowing beforehand that it even could.

So you are completely reliant on the curation of their app stores.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

Richard 12
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Re: Maybe, but ...

Come on, an Ethernet port isn't the same as RS232 or whatever. Its damn near impossible to find an office with no Ethernet jacks. Heck, it's pretty rare to find any building without them!

I use the Ethernet port on my laptop every single day, and I'm not doing anything particularly special.

All the MacBook users I know also use the Ethernet port most of the time, and any adapter is annoying and easy to lose or forget.

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Nvidia launches not one but two Kepler2 GPU coprocessors

Richard 12
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Re: No

Solidworks and Vectorworks are both good and well respected, which one is better for your business depends the kind of plugins you need.

Solidworks still seems to have the better FEA tools, while Vectorworks has by far the best lighting simulation.

I don't know enough about the other plugins to say either way.

Solid modelling catches so many stupid errors. I only wish more architects would start using it, and stop putting sprinklers, ducting, low ceilings and my 2m racks all in the same place...

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Richard 12
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No

The only thing that can help you is to throw away Autocad and get a CAD package instead of a glorified sketchbook. It'll help your customers as well, les stupid mistakes...

(Autocad is a drafting package, it's never been CAD. They have tried to fix it, but at heart it's just not solid modelling.)

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Richard 12
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To expand on (1)

GPUs are "massively parallel", because their architecture was originally optimised to do the same set of T&L calculations to every single pixel on your monitors.

So a General Purpose-GPU is really great at doing the same f(x) to a huge dataset, whereas a CPU is good at doing many different tasks to a small dataset.

If significant parts of your task can be boiled down to "foreach x do f(x)", GP-GPU is going to really speed things up. Otherwise it probably won't.

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UK's planned copyright landgrab will spark US litigation 'firestorm'

Richard 12
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Watch TV for a while, you'll find some

Sooner or later you'll see a YouTube video that isn't credited to the user, but instead is marked "YouTube", or even "Internet".

It's extremely common for the metadata to get stripped off online photos, which the various media outlets love to use.

In both cases, somebody has deliberately or accidentally "orphaned" the work by stripping the attribution and metadata.

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Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'

Richard 12
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Re: limiting confidence in [the models'] predictions

Unfortunately, the earth moves. Hence any locally apparent rise in sea level is just as likely to be the earth going down as the sea coming up.

Building too many heavy buildings, draining aquifers and natural crustal movement can all explain it.

The same goes for a local sea level fall, of course.

Take a mean all over the world, then get back to us.

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EU mobe warning system for imminent disasters won't work on iPhone

Richard 12
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Re: No better "expert" available??

And why an "expert" who is in fact, almost completely wrong?

For a start, SMS is not guaranteed delivery, it's best-effort and even has settings for how long to keep trying - between one hour and a week or so.

I think this marketeer has confused "has a delivery receipt" with "always delivers", an easy mistake for the hard-of-thinking.

SMS is fundamentally not much different to email.

Cell Broadcast was designed with this purpose in mind (at least, according to the gnarled O2 engineers at the Airwave conference a few years back).

Mandate that all handsets must support it, and even the idiot USians will push out a firmware update within six months. The towers all support it already anyway - even if a lot of them have nothing to say right now.

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Google hit with $AUD200k defamation damages

Richard 12
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Re: leech

Why grow some balls when you can get upwards of £300k by making a fuss?

Ok, his legal bills are probably 2/3 of that, but still...

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FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named

Richard 12
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Re: Compulsary tax

Wrong, it's needed for a household using any devices to receive live television broadcasts.

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A bitter spill to swallow, or 'how to smeg up your keyboard'

Richard 12
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Sealed membrane keyboards do exist

We buy Kensington "keyboards for life" that claim to be thoroughly spill proof, and they'll replace the keyboard if it turns out it wasn't.

They seem pretty much up to it, I don't know of any failures in the last five years. Pretty cheap as well!

We buy a *lot* of those keyboards for most of our customers, and we'll keep doing so because they last.

So far the worst I know of was red wine, spilt over keyboard and machine. They sent the machine in for repair (how we know about it) and simply rinsed the keyboard.

Luckily the wine mostly splashed up the unvented side of the machine, and the tiny puddle inside missed all the expensive bits.

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UK prosecutors, cops ponder new probe into NASA hacker McKinnon

Richard 12
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Re: Criminal prosecution still required ...

To use the door analogy:

If your job was to lock and guard the door to a military installation, but you left it open and unguarded for weeks (if not longer) and somebody wandered inside, you'd be court-martialled for dereliction.

Even if it was just a civilian office block you were supposed to guard you'd get fired.

Finally, in the UK the ones wandering in would probably have squatters' rights by now!

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Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft

Richard 12
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Re: Surface is not the same as Windows 8

IE isn't a desktop app in Win8RT.

It is under Win8 (x86)

Also you're an astroturfer, so I hope you got paid for that post.

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Richard 12
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Surface is not the same as Windows 8

Heck, the orderable Surface hardware being advertised doesn't even run Windows 8, it runs Windows 8 RT instead, the almost-but-not-quite* TIFKAM-only, Windows App Store front end.

Win8RT is to Win8 what iOS is to OSX, except that you can run Win8RT apps under Win8.

Those ads are for Microsoft's iPad/Nexus/Note, and just like those there's almost no mention of the OS.

* Its stripped-down version of Office uses the desktop, nothing else is allowed to. Presumably a tacit admission that TIFKAM simply isn't suitable for non-trivial applications.

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Richard 12
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Re: Microsoft mindset article

Sourcesafe is probably why those Windows guys don't use source control.

Worst piece of frack I've ever had the misfortune to use, as it punishes you for trying to use it - and we've even had an RC broken by Sourcesafe. So we threw it away.

I now use GIT for "unofficial" projects, as you can make a repo anywhere that you have read/write access to and it does 90% of what's useful.

No reason why everyone shouldn't use it for their "personal" projects, even if you never upload the repo to anywhere it can still save your bacon.

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Firm-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's tax dodge profit shift? Totally legit

Richard 12
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Re: Self-employed Milkmen, eh?

No, it's not vague bullshit.

If you work for a single company, cannot replace yourself at will with someone else (and are the entity responsible for finding that replacement if you can't do the work in the end), don't choose your hours, don't use your own tools, and only work under the direct supervision and direction of your "client" etc, then you're clearly not really self-employed, you're an employee who's rights have been taken away by an unscrupulous employer.

It's usually very obvious where the "client" has decided to do things this way to avoid employers' NI.

Someone who is truly self employed is contracted to provide a particular service, not a "warm body" for them to direct at will - "other duties as assigned" is an employee contract, not a business-to-business contract.

- The only real exceptions to the "replace yourself with another" are actors, presenters and designers etc, where part of the contracted service is a particular artiste.

Put it this way - if your current (or most recent) PAYE employer suddenly declared to you that you're self-employed now, but nothing else about your relationship with the company changed, it'd be pretty bloody obvious that it was simply to evade tax.

That happened to a metric shitload of building tradesmen until HMRC started cracking down on them.

There are grey areas of course, and you do have the right to challenge an HMRC decision on this.

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Richard 12
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Self-employed Milkmen, eh?

The weird thing is that this is almost certainly illegal already, as HMRC are allowed to apply the "looks like an employee, smells like an employee, therefore *is* an employee" test.

It hit a lot of people in my industry - a lot of so-called freelancers suddenly became PAYE.

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Credit card-sized mobile simplified for oldies

Richard 12
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I just bought a pair of slider phones for mine

Physically slide open to answer, slide closed to hang up.

That or flip phones are probably the best bit of UI ever developed, and far, far better for the nearly-blind* or stiff-fingered than any touchscreen or even physical answer-buttoned phone could be.

Along with physical buttons to dial numbers, that makes them perfect for my grandparents.

Whereas this, with the limit of a fixed set of numbers, is for children or Alzheimer's who can't remember the current phone number for X, and not for your average OAP who can probably remember more phone numbers than me!

A contract phone is an odd choice for children and mentally incapable customers.

* Drunk?

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Souse versus scrapple

Richard 12
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Re: Yukk

Cat food smells really nice when fresh out of the steam oven, it only gets that "cat food" smell when they add the gravy - or jelly as you'd probably call it.

Tastes quite good as well - it's all the chicken heads and feet that give it such a wondrous flavour.

Yes, Whiskas do a "product appreciation" course where you make - and taste - a little of it.

Was a very interesting summer placement, glad I did it.

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Sony KD-84X9005 84in ultra-HD TV review

Richard 12
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The right hardware is GPGPU

I'm surprised anyone even tries to do good up scaling using classic CPUs, they're completely the wrong architecture.

You need the massively-parallel nature of a GPU to do it in a sane amount of time.

It's also a pretty obvious usage anyway - you're making a series of images from another series of images, that's what GPUs were designed to do!

I suspect you could do a pretty good job of upscaling to 1080p using a Raspberry Pi.

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Asteroid belts could be key to finding intelligent life

Richard 12
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Happy

Re: Spiral?

Indeed, crashing into asteroids or simply going close to them will affect the orbit greatly, acting to shed KE any time an asteroid is impact or slingshotted.

Aside from that the solar wind and photon pressure alters any non-circular orbit in a non-linear way - it's one of the methods being seriously considered for preventing a catastrophic asteroid impact.

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Richard 12
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Mushroom

Re: Pay attention to the axis of time...

Essentially:

Without a planet like Jupiter that reduces the rate of major impacts, planets inside the "Goldilocks zone" that have the right temperature and composition for life will get twatted by asteroid impacts far too often for any complex life to evolve.

Our Earth hasn't been hit by anything big for 65 million years, and prior to that it was probably another 200 million years or so.

Very early on the Earth got properly pasted though, being hit by something the size of Mars has gotta hurt!

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USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission

Richard 12
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Pirate

@Heathroi - No, that's Privateers

Privateers were the ones given a licence to plunder certain ships, eg those flying the flag of another country. In most cases they were given a ship and a crew to go and do this with.

Essentially they were a deniable part of the military, rather like modern espionage.

Pirates did not, and still do not operate under a licence from anyone, they just board a ship and steal and/or ransom the cargo, crew and passengers.

Back then they'd probably ransom the officers and passengers, using the ship and the money to fund their lifestyle. The crew were probably killed or forced to join the pirate crew.

These days the full ship and crew are ransomed.

This is why the British have a standing policy of never, ever paying a ransom. All it does is fund the next act of piracy. We send in the SAS or SBS instead.

In theory, once they know that boarding a British-flagged vessel will cost them dearly and won't get them any money, they won't bother with ours and will go for other flags.

Finally, some privateers did break the terms of their licence, becoming pirates. Those were the ones who were really hunted down, "por encouragement los autres".

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Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

Richard 12
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Re: @ Mike Moyle

A Registered Design is the EU equivalent of a US Design Patent.

The cases were on the same thing, the appeal court judgement makes that quite clear and has some very strong language regarding the German court - almost as close to "You bunch of ****ing morons, you on crack or something?" as it's possible to get.

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British judge: Say you're sorry Apple... this time like you MEAN it

Richard 12
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Re: No sense

No, they'd lose.

Actually, I'm wrong, such an appeal wouldn't even be considered because there is no European court that does that.

You'll notice that Apple haven't appealed and they've had a long time to do so, because their lawyers also know this.

Samsung did not infringe the design in question. It's the end of the line. And no, it wasn't because the Apple product was "cooler", it was simply because Samsung's devices don't look like the registered design. Different shape, different buttons etc.

There is still other IP that they are each accused of infringing, but this one is proven and closed.

Let it lie or we are all f***ed, to put it mildly.

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Telefonica fails in bid to claw back 'flip-flop' 2010 termination charges

Richard 12
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Re: Who Pays

They can still offer incentives to get all your friends on the same network.

For example, some providers still offer unlimited free calls within their network, while external calls come from the inclusive minutes.

Number portability means that you have to know that your friend is on the same network instead of guessing from the number, which further encourages you to tell your friends which network you're on - thus more word-of-mouth advertising.

So it still works.

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If you measure IT with PCs, you're doing it wrong

Richard 12
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The data set looks artificially flawed to me

"When Canalys finished its sums for all PCs, tablets and smartphones, Brazier said the firm found just 32% of devices run Windows"

I wonder what they would find if they included the rest of home and business computing?

It seems odd to include tablets and smartphones yet exclude games consoles, STBs (and "Smart" TVs), and the home and business "network appliances" (NAS, hardware firewalls etc).

On a per-device count, my guess is that less than 20% run Windows, and I'd be interested to know how accurate that is.

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Ballmer bets 'all in' on Phone 8 and Windows

Richard 12
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Re: "All Windows 8 devices share the same iconic look and feel."

I don't want my tablet to look like a PC, or my PC to look like a tablet!

Tablets and PCs are different, and require different interfaces.

Trying to make them the same is fundamentally doomed to failure - you either get a tablet you can barely use because the UI expects accurate pointing and a keyboard, or a PC that you can barely use because it expects you to have a touchscreen (extremely tiring for long-term use), only one or two applications running and only one monitor.

Microsoft made the first mistake before - now they are making both mistakes at the same time.

Which is a shame - as a phone or tablet UI, TIFKAM looks like it is actually a pretty good idea. It's Android's live widgets but with sharper corners, and Samsung's Android multi-tasking.

Where Surface fails is the jarring change to the desktop, where Windows 8 fails is the jarring change to TIFKAM.

Windows Phone 8 doesn't have either of those, so might succeed - the risk is that Surface and Windows 8 break it by annoying and confusing customers.

Apple should be worried about WP8 - iOS still has zero info on the home screen, and they desperately need to fix that.

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Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!

Richard 12
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Re: Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!

There are laws that apply to this within the EU, so it will be interesting to see how long this stance lasts once somebody (maybe the French) bring a suit.

Yes, the cookie law does apply - a website cannot ignore a clear instruction from the browser saying "I reject this".

The more general privacy laws probably also apply, but those are likely to be more complex to argue.

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Richard 12
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Re: More Microsoft "doing favors no one asked for"

That's exactly what they did - during setup of your user profile, the question "Do you want evil advertisers to follow your every move on the Internet?" is asked*.

Oddly enough, the vast majority of users pick "No, I don't."

* Example only, actual question received may vary. Not to scale.

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EDF: We'll raise bills 11% - but only 2% is due to energy costs!

Richard 12
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Ho hum - Dinorwig doesn't scale

Well, it could, but we'd need to flood most of the Scottish highlands to cover wind doldrums.

While you might find some people in favour of that, oddly enough the locals don't like the idea.

Although Salmond might as it's one way the Scottish could afford independence, rather like Labour and the ConDems on wind and PV - hell bent on it regardless of cost or feasibility.

Presumably it's a political thing - get into politics and your brain is surgically removed, making you incapable of considering consequences beyond the next election.

The next Parliament is going to be seriously ****ed though, as that seems to be when the lack of energy security is likely to come home to roost.

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Chinese e-cars to turn London cabs green

Richard 12
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186 miles?

I'm pretty sure even London cabbies go further than that every day, so I'm confused. How can this possibly work?

Or are they saying they all need two

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Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks

Richard 12
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Ctrl + C for Charms?

Does Win 8 not have a copy function anymore?

Why in Dante's 8 pits of Hell did they decide to arbitrarily change common keyboard shortcuts just when users need them the most?

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Windows 8: Is Microsoft's new OS too odd to handle?

Richard 12
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WTF?

Re: ah the knees, methinks they doth jerk too much

Here, I have a crock of shit to sell you. The crock is really good after you clean out the shit.

No, I'm not going to take the shit out of the crock. It's critical to my strategy that everyone gets the shit as well as the crock.

What do you mean, you don't want it? The crock is great! Everyone says so!

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New Mac mini: Business in the front, party at the back

Richard 12
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FAIL

Where is the front media slot?

The originals had a front DVD slot, and given that USB sticks are the official replacement why oh why is there no front USB port?

The front ports on my desktop and the side ports on my laptop are the ones I use the most. (Ok, there's a pack of things plugged into the rear ports but they are the things that are never unplugged.)

Why do Apple think I should clutter my desk with USB hubs?

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

Richard 12
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@ Monkeigh

Ouch, thanks. I didn't realise that, I thought the previous generation had screen-edge USB ports.

- I've only got a Mac Mini for test purposes at work.

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