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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3379 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: petrochemicals -- just, not fossil fuels @I ain't Spartacus

Ivan 4,

But that windmill energy is free. It costs us no new carbon to generate it. Yes I know the turbines cost, and you'll have to burn some gas keeping plants on spinning reserve.

There's a certain percentage of capacity where wind is an advantage, as you get not to run some gas plants, and save some CO2. Obviously that gets more inefficient as you try and get more of your power mix from wind. And I've seen figures that suggest we've reached, or surpassed, that point.

At grid scale, the only solution I can see is nuclear. Which also generates power we often can't use, so it would be nice to have some sort of power storage method for that too. With some gas for back-up and emergency reserve. I guess some wind, as we've got it, and hydro is obviously good. I'm dubious about wave and tidal power, but it might have its place too.

I don't think we can do grid scale solar in this country. But it may have a place locally, especially if we use solar-thermal and PV. Along with heat pumps.

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Re: I hope you're right

mark 63,

That's part of the point of the article. Of course people won't cut back. Not voluntarily. And there's a limit to what even the most repressive of governments can force people to do. It's the thing a lot of the greens don't seem to grasp. People will take long-term pain in order to get short-term gratification. Especially if they're not sure they believe in the long-term pain. If that weren't true, the UK economy wouldn't currently be sitting on nearly £1.5 trillion of government debt (and rising.

So in the end we can only solve climate change by making the green alternatives cheaper than the dirty ones. People will put up with the price of carbon being pushed up, but as Ed Miliband's popular success with his policy of capping energy prices shows, not too much of that either.

Fortunately I believe that nuclear can be easily pushed cheaper than coal, though probably not gas. But remember that's nuclear with the costs of cleanup being compared to gas and coal without the costs of climate change or mitigation added in.

We should be able to get thorium to work, which should be cheaper and safer. Hopefully fusion too. Solar is getting ever cheaper, and is probably not as great for the UK, but should be wonderful for many other places round the world.

Rural Africa has gone from crap communications to mobile without the expensive step of fixed-lines in between. With solar and local storage they could make a similar leap with power, which should do wonders for their quality of life.

Climate change should be perfectly possible to deal with, by moving our energy to stuff that doesn't emit CO2. Then we can continue with growth perfectly happily. There are other big environmental issues, but making everyone in the world richer should help solve population growth and a lot of the damage done to rainforests and natural habitats. As well as stopping millions from living in misery, starving and dying unneccesarily. So mostly a good thing. Even if it forces us into tother policies to deal with the downsides. It's still mostly upside.

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Re: Tim's hopes for solar and wind are doomed

the sun does not shine at night

It's also wrong. The Sun does shine at night. It's just hiding. If we could find a method to coax it out, and make it less shy, then we could have 24 hour sunshine. Has anyone tried sacrifices of virgins at Stonehenge?

[I'm using the smiley face, obviously. Becasue the Sun has got its hat on.]

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Re: petrochemicals -- just, not fossil fuels

Wind turbines do cut it, if you've got a method of storing power. But we don't, and I'm sure there are better methods of generating leccy anyway. Nuclear is the only viable answer I can see. With lots of solar, still making big gains in efficiency, also looking like a possible good thing.

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Re: Dear reader

Squaring those two is easy. GEC management were shit, did the wrong stuff. Bye bye company. Other companies do better. GE, Rolls Royce and Google are examples, even Microsoft (though management haven't done very well with the stuff they've had). The whole pharmaceuticals industry have continued to pour billions into R&D (both basic and applied) for year after year.

Market economies work on average. It's a messy business, but we have continued to get richer overall. Mistakes are guaranteed to happen, but there's a survival of the fittest element going on too. So more successful companies can kick out the old-guard if they fail to pass muster. That competition can have bad effects too, as the companies that don't think long-term might out-compete those that are spending on R&D. But that's one of the points of having things like intellectual property. We regulate the market to reward things we want, in the hopes we'll get more of them. Of course if we cock up, and reward things we don't want (patent trolls), we get more of them.

Which leads me to my next point. Government. Planned economies are the less messy alternative to market ones. Compare and contrast the shambles that was the German World War II economy to the far more rigidly planned British and Soviet ones. But that requires competent government that keeps making the right choices. Broadly the British government ran its war-economy brilliantly. But the post war attempt to carry that on failed miserably. And here you have the downside of central planning, as there's no alternative waiting in the wings, hungry to kick out the big boys and take over.

Take another example of government, UK energy policy. I lost track of the different initiatives and pay-back schemes they ran over the years. But in one of their renewable energy schemes they only consulted one company, who were the only ones certified to comply, who therefore hoovered up all the sales before anyone else could get registered. They also had this bizarre obsession with domestic solar power, which in this country is utterly unsuitable. We don't get that much sun, and we have no means of storage, so as most people are out during the day, what's the point? Whereas solar-thermal costs the same to install, but allows you to save about 40-60% of your heating fuel use - and storing heat in a tank of hot water is a well-proven system. And they seemed to ignore heat-pumps. Whereas incentives to have solar PV on office buildings, or even better combined solar-thermal and PV, would have been brilliant at cutting daytime power use.

Much better to let the capitalists fight like dogs in a sack to get your money, and just set the overall rules and watch them do it. So give incentives for not creating CO2. A carbon tax seems the easiest. Spread around liberal amounts of research money. Then sit back and see what works best.

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SPECIAL iPHONE TROUSERS will ease Apple into the fashion world

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Devil

Re: particularly acute for the long-suffering women of the western world?

my wife keeps her phone in her bra... :-/

I bet you feel a right tit when she's busy and you have to answer the phone for her...

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Re: I feel left out :(

Certainly. Clown trousers are available at all good retailers. One size doesn't fits all. With roomy elasticated waists and trousers to hold all your laptop or custard needs.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Handbags at dawn

But do women carry their phones in their handbags because they haven't got the pockets? My Mum complains because when she's at home, she obviously no longer requires her handbag, but with no pockets to put the phone in it either gets left in the bag, or abandoned in whichever room she happens to take it out in first. Obviously if she's visiting me it's no problem, as it can sit by her seat with phone available. Not that anyone gets signal in my flat...

Whereas a man's phone can stay in his pocket, and be available at all times. Ready for fondling or answering, as required.

Given the annoyances women are willing to put up with in the name of fashion, should we seek another solution? If pockets spoil the line of a well cut trouser. How's about autonomous drone handbags? Either flying or wheeled, which follow you round the house, with all your bits-and-pieces.

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Cable guy, Games of Thrones chap team up to make Reg 'best sci-fi film never made' reject

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Re: The Martian

I just hope Ridley Scott doesn't turn it into another Prometheus.....

I watched Blade Runner a few weeks ago (must have been the Director's Cut), followed by a documentary on it. I wonder if all films have quite that level of infighting...?

Ridley Scott said he'd optioned Dune at the time, but decided on Blade Running instead. I wonder what he'd have made of that? As many problems as I thought Prometheus had, it's still Citizen Kane in comparison with David Lynch's Dune. Dune has crap script, crap acting and crap special effects, all rolled into one package.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Eponymous Cowherd,

Ouch. Comparing Ender's Game to Battlefield Earth seems rather harsh. Although the lead actor didn't seem to be able to make Ender likeable - which was either a failure of script or acting ability.

However, I didn't think they dawdled through the plot. I think that only having 90 mnutes was its problem. Maybe Ender isn't likeable (you don't get named Ender The Xenocide for nothing), but he is supposed to be a born leader. The book can sidestep that problem by spending the whole time inside his head, so you can understand his motives. Film can't.

As to your problem with the ending, the book isn't about the aliens. The book is about Ender and why he's not like his brother or sister. So I guess their choice was do it properly as two films (or a TV series), or just make another aliens vs. humans film and option a best-selling book so you can hopefully get some people guaranteed to come and see you. In which case they should have dumped most of the plot, and just kept the battle room and the space battles. After all, Total Recall and The Running Man are great fun films, but bear very little relation to the short stories they're nominally based on. Total Recall didn't even keep the name, although I suppose it would be hard to fit 'We Can Remember it for You Wholesale' on the poster...

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I ain't Spartacus
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I'd have thought some of Hamilton's stuff would film really nicely. I've gone off him, since his books started getting mind-bogglingly enormous, but then I've not been reading as much in the last few years either.

I lost the ability to suspend disbelief in the Night's Dawn trilogy, though ploughed through to the end anyway. I can see any attempt to make telly out of that risking becoming utterly ridiculous. Although who wouldn't want to see Al Capone in spaaaaaaace. If you could find a way round that, it would be easy to translate to the screen. I gave up early on in the next lot (Void trilogy?). Obviously decent modern CGI makes space opera a lot easier.

I was thinking that his first three books would work as well. The Greg Mandell stuff. But then maybe not. How to do mind-reading on screen?

I guess this is why I've always preferred books to telly. Although at least the TV series can do a lot better job than a film. A TV series of 'Ender's Game' might have been great. The film just didn't work at all. There wasn't enough time to grow to understand and like the character, so you didn't care what happened to him. The space opera bits worked fine.

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Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and some Apple bloke attend glitzy iPhone 6 Paris launch

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Re: Scary fashionistas

I'm thinking of setting up a cosmetic surgery business giving wrinkles to young celebs. The idea being to distinguish them from the weird, old celebs who've basically had their faces ironed smooth with botox. Then the young ones can prove that their smooth good looks are 'real' and 'natural' by sporting just one, strategically placed and attractive laughter line.

I do wish Keith Richards could have been in the first picture, to give a nice contrast...

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I ain't Spartacus
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One of our clients are doing their Christmas do at Madame Tussauds. The blurb says something about celebs looking on as you dine on your sumptuous meal (yeah right!), and I was wondering how odd it would look to be surrounded by plastic-faced dummies.

Then I see a picture of Lagerfeld and Wintour, the autons of the fashion world, and realise that it'll be just like being at a real celeb bash.

I don't understant it. They're both pretty old (late 60s or 70s?), and sure they have no wrinkles on their faces. But guys, we can still see your necks. And anyway, even the youngest of smoothest faced children doesn't have a shiny plastic fizzog like that. Although I suppose plastic is the wrong word. Paralysed into immobility, would be better.

My theory is that this is what Saddam did with his WMDs. The UN didn't get all of his botulinum toxin in the 90s, and it's not been found since, so I suspect it's all gone into celebrity faces...

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Why does it take 8 hours for my posts to be approved?

I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: Vimes. Thanks for your kind offer

Drewc,

Cowards! Where's your sense of adventure?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Vimes,

It makes sense. In the end it's got to be done by them. They're subject to scary UK libel laws, and sub judice. Both of which are taught to young journalists/subbies.

But the easy route would simply be to empower certain users to have a 'disappear until moderator turns up' button. So they're effectively pushing offending posts back into the moderation queue. This is also good becasue normal users are on the forums anyway, so you just need to pick a few active ones, and job done.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if it's needed. You don't see many posts that have been deleted by a moderator. Or many offending posts around that haven't been blasted yet. I can only recall hitting the report post button a handful of times since they put it there. So their current filtering system is pretty effective. Or it's just the quality of the commentards.

That means they'd have to use volunteer mods to speed up the posting queue. And that consists of new accounts, people on the naughty step and Orlowski threads or legally-related ones where they're being cautious. Those are the ones they'll be all wusses about. It's also a different level of volunteering, rather than just asking a few people to keep an eye out - you're asking them to log into a message queue and read/approve/reject them. Perfectly doable, they could log mods into a version of the site where the queued messages show up in their normal place in threads, and the mods could hit an approve button that makes them visible to everyone else in their nomral course of reading around.

But I suspect they'll prefer control to speed.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: I ain't Spartacus

diodesign,

I like the forums here and think they're nicely balanced between allowing free expression without descending into Lord of the Flies territory. I was rather impressed by what turned into a debate on Scottish indepence, given the appalling quality, and unpleasantness, of almost all the other debate on saw on the issue. Including some of the supposedly professionally moderated TV stuff.

I've been listening to a podcast on Civil War history recently. And I notice that the Scottish Presbytarians don't do bishops. They have a Moderator. So as you're down South, and don't have anyone officially in charge of the forums, perhaps El Reg should have forum bishops? It might lend a nicely Pythonesque air to things...

On the other hand, in true tabloid style:

"Pretty much anything goes" Roars Register Reprobate in Rumble over Raunchy Regtard Ruminations

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TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

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Re: breaking news

"Hmm, well yes it's nice and shiny, fits the hand well, and I do like those glowing mystical runes appearing on it's surface, but I really can't see it being sharp enough to get the skin off an antelope.

Plus it'll never replace the iHenge. The latest models can caluculate the phases of the moon within minutes, and you need to sacrifice fewer than 5 virgins nowadays. Which is good, what with virgins getting harder and harder to get hold of, now that the youth of today have started this cave-wall networking.

...I dunno in my day we didn't have all this stuff you were happy with a flint and a stick and there was none of this modern rubbish moving bloody great stones around the place and ruining perfectly nice cave walls and where are all the trees I ask you and you don't get sabre toothed tigers like you used to these modern ones take minutes to eat your children rather than gulping them down in one guy and you can't get the druids any more...

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George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests

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Re: Burner phones?

That could be the ultimate way to secure the exclusive rights to your 'special' day and maximise profit from Hello!* magazine. Set up an entire fake wedding, with fake guests and a fake bride. Go off and do that, and let the tabloids get all the snaps they want. Plus you can then invite all the horrible celebrity hangers-on to that one.

Meanwhile you sneak off for the real wedding the next day, with only the guests you want, to someone completely different. Then sell the rights and exclusive to that for a fortune. Obviously you have to cross your fingers behind your back when making the vows for the first wedding.

As an alternative you could send look-a-likes to the first wedding of the couple and whatever celeb guests you actually want at the real one. Then you don't have the unfortunate risk of accidental bigamy. This distracts the tabloids and the hangers-on nicely. They're all too dim to notice the fakes. Just tell them there's an exclusive new brand of fake-tan and fake-breasts that the guests have to use as their invites - they'll never spot it...

*Eureka! I've just realised who Yahoo! should merge with. Hello! They could call themselves Halloo!...

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Re: sign of the times

Put down your spam fritters, and get with the program Daddio!

Now we've got telephones so small they can actually fit in a satchel. We've got modern fabrics that allow the production of flourescent socks. And we've got this amazing new storage format that allows you to record tons of music and text, or up to 2 hours of video. It's called laser disc...

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Apple nurses HealthKit apps back to life, discharges iOS 8.0.2

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Re: "Apple Revolutionary Magical Update"

But does it fix the microwave charging issue? I fully charged my iPhone in the devil's oven while installing iOS 8 (you're advised to plug in while updating). And got a black screen when I took it out. So I'm hoping that 8.0.2 will get me back up and running.

Weirdly, my microwave stopped working at the same time. But I'm told that's probably because Samsung always copy Apple...

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Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT

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Re: Mobile? Really?

I know a mobile dentist, and I can assure you that although he likes a pie or two, he's perfectly capable of moving himself around without assistance from an internal combustion engine. He's even man-portable, should you happen to roll that way, although you'd need a pretty heroic tailor to define him as pocket size.

He also bends in half at far less than 90lb pressure...

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Reg hands portable Sinclair ZX Spectrum to lucky compo winner

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Devil

It's not a problem. They're journalists. So they're too lazy and/or drunk to get up to anything sinister.

The only one who seems capable of plotting an evil scheme has just booked himself onto a flight to the US with a large explosive device that's also a remotely operated drone. By the time Lester gets halfway through his explanation to the TSA of what's in his luggage, he'll be off to Gitmo so fast his feet'll smoke. I shouldn't imagine he'll be out before all that data is worthless anyway...

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Prez Putin tells Google, Twitter, Facebook: Have a double vodka and censorship on the rocks

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Re: Perhaps someone in Russia

I believe the founder of Vkontakte just lost control of it to one of the Kremlin-insider oligarch types.

Although this is as likely to be about politics and power as money.

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Be your own Big Brother: Keeping an eye on Mum and Dad

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Re: I have a more pressing problem re. senior IT

One major obstacle here, is that the TV manufacturers seem to be under the delusion that their smart TV stuff adds value - and that they're competent to design user interfaces. However, neither of these seems to be even remotely close to reality.

What they don't seem to want to accept is that many, in the UK probably most, people now use their TV as simply a display for one or more box. Whether that be Sky, Virgin, Youview, a console or something else. So all it needs to do is cede control to the other end of the HDMI cable, and leave us alone.

I've just started using my TV's Freeview tuner, as I've cancelled Sky. And I think I'm going to have to get a box. Partly as I miss PVR, but mostly because I can barely read the horrible program guide on the telly, and the remote is so badly laid out that it's too easy to dump myself into the menus, rather than the EPG.

I have no idea why they thought that only about 14pt type was acceptable on a 50" screen. I only bought one that big because of my poor eyesight in the first place... Similarly I don't favour remote controls that are so tiny and piss-poorly designed that I'm required to dig out my reading glasses to use them.

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Tearful LOHAN Playmonaut bids adiós to Spain

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Re: Entry to USA

Lester,

Can you attach emergency helium balloons to yourselves, and just float out of harms way?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Visa?

He's going in under a false passport as a Lego Minifigure. Let's hope TSA don't spot him, or they'll need to manufacture some really small rubber gloves...

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

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Re: Go there!

I hope they brew a beer called Half Biscuit...

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Re: it makes sense

The problem is that people have heard about these underground beer aquifers and misunderstood. This is why so many pubs connect the large plastic pipes they find underground directly to their lager pumps. Not realising that these pipes link to the outlet of their urinals. Fortunately no one has yet noticed...

But there is a reason why there's a whole section of the 1999 Water Regulations dedicate to the correct marking and colour coding of pipes.

The interesting question is which came first. Was it the belgian chocolate miners who first stubled across the beer wells? Or was it people drilling for beer who found the rich seams of chocolate to mine? Bruges is certainly a rich source of both.

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I ain't Spartacus
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I can't stop myself now. Oh dear, oh dear.

1500 gallons/hour is 1.84 Litres/sec

Velocity is about 3.5 m/s

I must confess I don't have charts for beer, only water. I'm using my trusty IOP Plumbing Engineering Services Design Guide.

But you won't be using a small pipe, as frictional resistance is going to be huge.

If you used a 50mm (2") copper/steel pipe, the frictional resistance would be 0.02m per metre run of pipe. Tiny you say? Aha, but run that for around 3,000m? You have a pressure drop of 60m, i.e. 6 bar. So you'd need a seriously chunky pump.

Therefore I'd suggest using at least a 76mm (3") pipe, which gives a frictional resistance of 0.004m/m - and a pressure drop of 1.2 bar. I'd have thought that pumping beer too hard might not be good for it, so you might even consider a 4" pipe. After all, the cost comes in digging the trench, the actual pipe is quite a small proportion of that.

To add a further complication, plastic pipe has thicker walls. You might choose to use multi-layer pipe for this job, in which case you tend to go up one pipesize.

Just to be silly, if you used 1" pipe, the frictional resistance at 1.8 L/sec is 0.5m/m. So the pressure drop over 2 miles would be 150 bar.

Bruges has got some steep hills. So it may be that you can just run the pipe downhill. It's certainly a steep walk from the town centre to the station.

I wonder what the risk is of the locals tapping into the pipe enroute?

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MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...

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Re: good phone

I think you may have a faulty phone.

I had a Lumia 710 and the bluetooth audio worked perfectly. It got slightly better signal than my work iPhone if anything, and I don't recall it getting warmer than any other phone. The only phone I can recall getting toasty was my old HTC Wildfire after a hard workout. And it was never that bad.

Actually the bluetooth problem could be your speakers as well. Given how piss-poorly unreliable I've found bluetooth to be over the years. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't it's a bastard to diagnose - and random multiple reboots and re-pairings seem to be the only way to go. Except for a sledgehammer...

I've not read any reviews saying any of this, alhtough I've not looked that hard. And they're on their 4th (5th?) generation of Lumia phones now. As for the software it has its faults, but then so do Android and iOS. The People hub is way better designed than Apple or Google's efforts, and better than any of the other contact managers I've tried on Android. It's horses for courses.

If I go Android it'll probably be something with a stylus. So that's LG or Samsung I think.

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Re: good phone

I'd say that's true of all the high-end phones now.

My friend has a Motorola G, and it's really rather nice. Another has a Galaxy Note 2, and that's also excellent. Can't you pick them up for under £250 now?

If I was paying, my next phone would probably be a mid range Lumia. 725, or whatever they're up to now. But if you don't like that UI, then there's plenty of great 'Droids to choose from at sensible prices. And I just think all the top-end phones over £400 are now a rip-off. One that only works because people aren't actually seeing the phone prices in their contracts, and can avoid noticing they're paying for an expensive hire-purchase with their data contract.

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Re: Stats are meaningless

Cyanogenmod is great. But for ordinary users having root access to the device isn't exactly a perfect idea. Although it has its good points as well.

Also from my experience of Cyanogen, now very out of date I admit, it's not always easy. If the manufacturer have cooperated then it's just a download and go. But if they've locked the phone's bootloader you need to jump through all sorts of hoops, that no ordinary user is going to touch with a 20 foot bargepole.

Cyanogenmod is a minority interest for techies. And a very good one. But what matters is everyday users. And for them you get updates on Apple, and are much more likely not to on Android. Due to manufacturers and/or networks, and Google's decision to let them get away with it.

It would also be interesting if Apple users were losing faith in their updates. But this data isn't enough to draw any conclusion like that from.

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Re: Strange

Stupid is unfair.

A combination of ingorant and uninterested is more accurate. I know people who really don't want to care about how pooters work. They just want to get on and do stuff. They're intelligent enough to understand them, but just don't want to. I don't really understand that, given how dependent we are on the damned things. But on the other hand, not everyone can understand every area of modern life or technology. There just isn't sufficient time. And people have things to get on with doing.

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Re: 46% of how many users?

D@v3,

I've had an iPad hang halfway through the update and have to be hard reset. Can't remember which OS, or even which iPad. I had the 1 and now the 3. So I've tended to do my iPads via iTunes since. It wasn't a problem, I know these things can happen, and I'd backed it up, so it just needed to be done and plugged into Mr Pooter for a recovery. But people are likely to squawk a lot louder if they've just expected everything to work, and not backed up immediately.

Apple can't really complain about that, as they do sell on the 'it just works' idea. So it's then hard to complain when their users don't do basic stuff like backups. Hence having Cloud do it for them.

On the other hand I've got a work iPhone 5, and that's always updated flawlessly over the air. And I never back it up, because all it has is links to the work Exchange server and a few useful apps. It's never been plugged into my computer.

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Apple 'Genius': iPhone 6? We've had NO COMPLAINTS about our BENDY iThing

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Devil

Re: Just for the record

But are your 6" sufficiently hard to avoid bending in future? Or will yours suffer damage if someone sits on it?

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Galaxy Note 4 latest: Samsung rushes iPhone 6 Plus rival to China as Apple flails in dark

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FredBloggs61,

My friend got a Note 2 about a year ago, on my advice. And I had to set it up for him, as it was my suggestion he move off the iPhone. It was a hell of a lot harder to set up than an iPhone, because of having so many options.

But I was amazed by it. Having previously thought the HTC Desire and Wildfire were the best smartphone case design, for being sturdy, easy to hold and compact. At the time I was using an iPhone 5 and a Lumia 710. Which I was very happy with. But the amount of screen you get on the Note 2 is amazing, and I found it really easy and comfortable to hold. I do have big hands though. And the S-Pen is wonderful.

The Note 3 and 4 are quite a bit bigger though. Well into the territory of mostly two handed operation. Which isn't a problem for most things, but I do like to be able to operate the phone function one-handed, when I'm carrying a briefcase.

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

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Coat

Re: When do the films come out?

When the attack is specially crafted to put porn on church websites: Bashing the Bishop

Then they'll try to hack the Coronation Street child stars in: Bash Street Kids

After which an attack will be crafted for London and Essex called: Bish Bash Bosh

At some point there must also be an attack on Bashar Assad...

[I'd best get my coat hadn't I]

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Yahoo!... Our Alibaba stake's worth BILLIONS. Oh – our shares are in the toilet

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Re: That's what makes horse-racing

Keynes also said, "the market can remain irrational for longer than you can stay solvent."

Which seems somehow appropriate here. He was a very quotable chap.

The market comes up with some interesting valuations. And sometimes get things spectacularly wrong of course. But their wild over-valuation of Facebook, for example, may turn out to be correct - on the grounds that it has so much income growth potential and so many people signed up. Not that I buy it myself, but it's turning out decent profits, unlike Twitter.

Yahoo! seems to be on the opposite trajectory. So rather than it being priced below its asset value being a bargain, that may be an accurate assessment of its potential and quality of management. In which case it's not worth buying a few shares, but is worth getting all of them.

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Re: You've got to look at the share price...

Didn't Microsoft's share price go up by 5% almost instantly after Steve Ballmer had announced he was leaving? Which was effectively the collected masses of Wall Street turning up to his leaving do, in order to blow an enormous raspberry in his face.

That could be a great new way to set CEO's bonus levels. It's a very hard thing to do, as you want to reward sustainable success, not just quick-fixes like appears to have happened at Tesco. As my friend used to say, "if you set me a stupid target, I'll find a stupid way to meet it."

Instead, release a story that the CEO is leaving. Watch the share-price that day. If it goes up, they get a pay cut (or just cut out the middle-mand and sack the buggers). If it goes down, then apologise to the markets for the mistake, and announce that you're giving them a fat retention bonus.

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Re: More of a hostile takeover target

That's true. But the share price would rise during the take-over process. Particularly if the reason the market is valuing the company so low is that they think the management suck. If new management look to be coming in, the price will rise.

This is particularly so when the assets are obvious. If a take-over is done becasue management think there are two complementary bits of the two businesses, that'll become a lot stronger when working together, then it's harder to convince people of the value. When the shares are worth less than the total cash on hand, it's a lot easier.

Although perhaps now is the time for Microsoft to make another offer? I can't remember if we decided on here last time. Was it going to be YaSoft!, or Microhoo!? Given the piratical nature of take-overs, I think Yarrrsoft! might be better...

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London slaps down Salesforce's bid to rename Heron Tower

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Opportunity missed

I'm so disappointed at the missed opportunity, when there's a far better name on offer. The rather more modest Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies on the 34th and 35th floors opposed this attempt, but didn't try to rename the building himself. When we could have had:

The Tower of Powa

OK, OK, I'm getting my coat...

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Ban? What ban? Lyft buys carpool app maker Hitch

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They've forgotten one of the three important steps in their naming.

Hitch + Lift + get murdered and slung in the boot...

When will they be merging with that badly spelled company?

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Range Rover to fit trendy new SUV with FRIKKIN' LASER HUDs

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Re: Transformers!

Just a small correction to your post sir:

Next it will be that every Evoque comes with a free passenger to yell "You bloody peasants, get out of the way!"

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Move over, Apple Pay: Tesco trials PayQwiq phone-flash pay app

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Re: Qwiq?

Hmmm. I was thinking: FuqU

Or perhaps a new course for modern marketing people: Lern2Spel

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Re: I've got a brilliant idea

Ah, but what are you going to call them?

I suggest: CRDT QARD

When you're a billionaire, I expect my 20% cut for the vital job of marketing.

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Tripadvisor site coughs to card data breach for a potential 800k users

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I've decided to have my email address, passwords and credit card number printed on my t-shirt. It means I never forget them, and it cuts out the middle-man, and saves the companies I used valuable time and trouble, passing on my details to hackers...

Everyone wins.

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Swiss cops BAN MASKS at meeting of rebellious United Nations IP staff

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Re: Cardinal Burns...

If there's a law against masks, there'll be a law against superhero costumes too.

However the police can't tell a false beard from a real one, and I doubt there's a law against sunglasses. Or if shades aren't an option because it's indoors or not sunny, and you don't want to look an arse like Bono, get one of those disguise kits with false nose, moustache and glasses. Job done.

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

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Re: Failed Business/IT model

I'd imagine the next work-around is the Blackberry route. User-controlled encryption on all hosted servers, with the users controlling the encryption key and no central control of it. Then MS can't hand over the data, job done.

Of course that does mean that users can lose their passwords/keys and permanently encrypt their own data forever... Oops. But I'd guess you'd have it as an option for those concerned about security.

As a small business who've just chucked our emails on Office 365, I'm not worried. We don't have the resources or knowledge to manage our data any better than this. And I'm more worried by us not being able to access data at all, than the NSA also getting a look. Not that they'd be interested in us. Though I could imagine them trolling through every email they could reach search engine crawler style, to build up a huge database of email addresses, contacts, etc.

The downside for us of going this route is that we've moved from a small hosted server that was easier to crack and had less redundency, to a better run one that's a more attractive target. So I'm betting that security by obscurity isn't the way to go.

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Re: Will the German government be sensible?

Is that state rather than federal law?

It also depends on the legal jurisdiction of the original contract. I would expect it to be under Irish law, if the contract is with MS Ireland for example. So that wouldn't apply. Also the companies in question are subject to European Data Protection regulations whatever happens, and can't get out of it. So even if they cock up and agree to a contract under a foreign legal jurisdiction, they can't get out from under their own legal obligations.

Certainly when I worked for a US multi-national we were legally barred from exporting our German payroll data outside the EU. In fact, I think it might have even have been outside Germany.

A law that even European level management were quite pissed off with, and seriously discussed breaking.

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SpaceX breaks ground on first commercial spaceport in Texas

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Re: I suspect

Wasn't disrupting the rocket's tracking and so toppling them the plot in a different Bond film?

Are you sure Texas doesn't have any inactive volcanoes?

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