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* Posts by Tom_

430 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

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Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London

Tom_
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Not yet.

The thing that would put me off using my phone for this is the idea of smacking my expensive phone against the ticket barriers twice a day. Surely that's asking for it to wear out quicker, get dropped or get grabbed from my hand.

I also don't understand how using my credit card is easier than using an Oyster card. After the initail sign up for auto top up and setting up a direct debit to pay my credit card in full every month, they become interchangable in usage. The only difference I can come up with is that if my credit card gets stolen it's more of a pain to sort out than losing an Oyster card.

I guess I'm not yet convinced.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Tom_
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BT

Interesting statistics. As a BT customer, I've certainly never been asked whether or not I want filtering to be enabled on my internet connection. Has everyone else been asked then?

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Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

Tom_
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480?

I work in game development and we capture our animation data with three web cams. We record whole body movement down to individual fingers. We don't use markers or those funny suits - just process the video feed.

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New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Tom_
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Re: Stormtrooper turned good guy?.

I thought the Stormtroopers were supposed to BE the good guys. It's been a while since I saw it, but weren't they the ones being attacked by a terrorist cell in ... well... all of the films?

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Gust catches Amazon's skirt, reveals glimpse of 'Netflix for books'

Tom_
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Audiobooks

This is very exciting for someone who currently pays more than that to get two audiobooks per month from Audible.

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Tom_
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Only 470?

It looks like they could fit on a few more if they'd parked them all pointing sideways.

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

Tom_
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Re: What Mister Musk needs...

That's getting very close to an oats-and-the-odd-apple fueled car.

Also known as a horse and cart.

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

Tom_
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Re: Where are the Register's servers located?

"And the response times showed not enough time to be in the US, unless lightspeed was violated"

You can't rule out the possibility that they go via the US embassy, though.

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Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Tom_
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Price of Electricity

One concern for me about the economics of the electric car is the increasing price of electricity. How can you estimate charging costs over five or ten years, even if you have a good idea of the mileage you'll be doing?

I recognise that petrol costs are also variable.

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Japanese finally produce a ROBOT which isn't DEAD INSIDE

Tom_
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Re: *shakes fist*

"Am I the only one that just wants to punch that thing it its stupid smug face? (I'm pretty sure that when I'm an old fart I am going to be spending a lot of time yelling at robots and demanding to speak to a human being.)"

More likely you'll be like the rest of us nerds, desperately yearning for a bit of the robot's attention, but continually spurned.

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Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

Tom_
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Re: Shark Jumped!

WTF are 'paedophilic manuals'?

They're the things that used to be called family photo albums.

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Feds crack down harder on 'lasing'. Yep, aircraft laser zapping... Really

Tom_
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Alert

They should just fit lasers to the aircraft that swivel around and point straight back at the guy on the ground. But they should be a couple of orders of magnitude brighter.

I mean, not really, but still...

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REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Tom_
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If you know your enemy is listening to your communications it's much more advantageous to feed them false information than to make a fuss about it.

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Look what's screeching into the Internet of Stuff: SELF-DRIVING CARS

Tom_
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Mental

"On the stand, Freecale apps manager Graham Troy suggested other implications for engine management where car owners could switch ECU (Engine Control Unit) profiles and pay a few quid extra for a download to have their sedentary saloon souped up to a sportster for the weekend."

I'm not convinced that would be very popular with motorists, to be frank. Many might take the view that they already bought the car, so should be able to access it's capabilities at will and without further charge.

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Fix capitalism with floating cities on Venus says Charles Stross

Tom_
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Re: ummm right....

You just need to make your balloon secrete baking soda, like your stomach lining does and you'll be protected from the acidity. As for the winds, stick windmills on the side and use them to generate power.

Mushrooms will also grow well in the warm, dark, damp conditions. :)

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Tom_
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You're right, but that's why we need to come up with ways that these people can increase their high scores while making life better for the rest of us as well.

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New .london domains touted tomorrow amid usual tech hypegasm

Tom_
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Strange

It feels really strange that the Internet has shrunk the world for so many people, making us feel more like a global society and then people want domain names tied down to cities.

Look at the popularity of .com compared to country specific TLDs. It seems odd to me that anyone's that fussed about .london, beyond tourism and companies scared of the domain being squatted.

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Nominet bins Optical Express' appeal against 'It ruined my life' website

Tom_
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Trying to change the business...

Wouldn't a better way to change how the business is regulated be to keep the sites up, rather than accepting undisclosed payments to take them offline?

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'Bank couriers' who stole money from OAP cancer sufferer jailed

Tom_
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Best common sense tip?

Change the bloody phone system to stop lines remaining connected when the call recipient hangs up!

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Tom_
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Suppositories

Learning that people use homeopathic suppositories has amused me more than anything else today.

That's just brilliant.

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Tom_
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Re: Moving at 800 m/s

There isn't really any such thing as absolute speed though, is there? I mean, the ISS is travelling around the galactic centre at a lot more than 32,000km/h, for example.

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Molyneux: Working at Microsoft is 'like taking antidepressants'

Tom_
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The best bit is he's actually working on Godus 2, the sequel to the copy of Populous...

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

Tom_
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Sector... One

Xenon 2 was absolutely outstanding both graphically and in terms of audio, but Xenon really did have the more interesting gameplay.

When I was about 14, me and a friend would play Xenon in co-op mode... one person did the space bar to swap between air and ground and the other did everything else. We played it so much that we could clock the game without dying.

Those were the days.

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Google slams Play Store password window shut after sueball hits

Tom_
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Re: The App Store Con

No, where it went wrong was in providing a time period where purchases can be made without re-entering the password and making that be the default setting for devices.

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Wackadoo DIYers scissor-kick beatboxer

Tom_
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"toilet attendant"

Why do they need to have these two words as a single entry? I don't understand the need when, presumably, they also have each word as an individual entry.

All the other stuff is just meh, whatever. Who cares if cur's in the dictionary or not. It's clearly part of the language either way.

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Tom_
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Re: WTF is a USB "encrypted slot"??

Maybe it's an upside down one.

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Tom_
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Re: "realised the capital cost of paying for the existing ATMs"

I think you're missing the point:

"The only reason we even put them in is the convenience of our clients - so that they can do banking after hours...."

No, it's so you actually have any customers.

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My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Tom_
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Re: ITs going backwards

"Working within a department that deals with govt. data means we need a secure means of transferring data between systems"

I know this one! It's called a train seat, right?

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Tom_
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The worst excuse I've been given for keeping us on low spec PCs is "We don't want you developing on better PCs than our average customers have because you won't realise how badly your code performs in the real world."

Oddly, we don't ship the debug build of our product, although we often have to run it when debugging.

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Dark matter killed the dinosaurs, boffins suggest

Tom_
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Re: Milankovitch and the Galactic Year

"the collision that formed the solar system"

What the blazers?

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Tesla wants $1.6bn to help fund $5bn TOP SECRET Gigafactory

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'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

Tom_
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Re: Wow

The explosion that happens behind the progress bar.

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Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Tom_
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Re: Man and machine in perfect dis-harmony

I did a degree in AI in the 90s and my professor shared a cute story with us about Marvin Minski going to view his colleagues table tennis playing robot. The claim is that when Minski walked into the lab, the robot immediately started doing it's best to smack him on his shiny, bald noggin.

I have no idea if there's any truth in it, but it still makes me happy.

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Tom_
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Re: Some tricks up his sleeve?!

I'd show up in a polkadot shirt.

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Vertical take-off and laughing: Space Harrier

Tom_
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Re: "It’s hard to comprehend...

It's even harder to overstate it.

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Google, Apple pop a cap in that Flappy Birds crapp app flapp

Tom_
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Nervous

I hope that they'll look more closely than just at the name. Otherwise when I come to release my 1920s themed, point and click adventure following a young woman as she explores the fashion and dances of the speakeasies it may turn out I've wasted a whole morning and most of an afternoon developing Flapper Bird. :(

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Gmail falls offline, rest of Google struggles on: NO! Not error code 93!

Tom_
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Google's Big Dog retaliatory strike imminent.

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Developers: Behold the bug NOBODY can fix

Tom_
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Surely he can patch it.

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UK.gov recruiting 400 crack CompSci experts to go into teaching

Tom_
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Re: By Gove! I think he's got it!

It's worse than that. He's come in and kicked all this off now, but in a couple of years he'll either be in opposition or he'll have been moved into health or sport or something else he's shit at instead.

While schools are trying to train up teachers to be good at teaching programming to five year olds, he'll be off being an arse biscuit somewhere else and he won't have to deal with any of the difficulties everyone in education is having with the whole scheme.

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Our robot overlords won't be evil cyborgs: Prepare for whisker-equipped ROBO-KITTIES

Tom_
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Re: Ten pound note of pressure

But did they mean a £10 note or a 10lb note?

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Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

Tom_
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Yeah, but so would he once you had his notes.

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Tom_
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No, sorry, your favourite type of plague is now 'pneumonic'.

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Tom_
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Re: Why does anyone expect people to remember?

That's great until you find yourself on holiday without your PC and your laptop and phone get stolen.

"That's ok, I'll go to an internet cafe!" you think. So in you go, pay for an hour and sit at a computer.

... "Shit."

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Google grabs slice of interwebs for EVERYONE (who speaks Japanese)

Tom_
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Re: Wow....

Oh come on, mate. Ofn't you ever written anything that makes you look dim?

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MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

Tom_
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It seems that it is more profitable for them to plug them in and use them themselves, but only for a period of time. After that period, they start to be too slow to be profitable, so then they're sitting there with piles of stock that's making them no money and for which there is no demand.

That means they need to sell stock on while it's still considered fast enough that other people can see profit in buying it for mining. The people making them must find the right time where they can give up any future profits from mining and balance that by selling the device.

Anyone buying from them must therefore automatically be looking at a thinner profit margin than the people making them, but then I guess that's just how life works.

At least when everyone was doing this with graphics cards, there was still some inherent value in the kit once it was no longer profitable to mine with it. Well, I hope so anyway. I wouldn't mind picking up a bargain graphics card just for gaming.

Question: Is there any use at all for these ASICs once they're retire from mining?

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Tom_
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Chip Manufacturers

It sounds like some of the hardware manufacturers are quietly or openly developing and using their own chips to mine for themselves and only selling the hardware on when it becomes more profitable to sell it than to use it. I suppose there's a small window where there's still demand for the hardware - that being where the public can run it profitably before it comes obsolete.

My question is whether this will ever be attractive to the big chip development companies, like Intel. Being as they have the facilities to fabricate large quantities of chips quickly, is there any point in them making themselves a large number fo mining chips, even if it's still only a small percentage of their chip output. Another way of phrasing it may be to ask if the economies of scale available to them mean there's be profit in using some of their capacity purely to speculate on bitcoin mining at the cost of reduced output of chips that they normally sell.

The whole thing's fascinating, but it feels like we're well past the stage where it's worth getting involved in buying hardware - as a hobbyist anyway. Just buying some kit that's a month too old could completely kill any chance of profit, by the sound of it.

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Think your brilliant app idea will earn some big bucks? HAH. You fool

Tom_
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Discoverability is the problem

As pointed out in the article, now there are over a million apps in these stores, it's really hard for anyone to find anything worth bothering with.

I think the best solution would be for the store managers to drop apps that are unpopular after a while. No downloads in a month? Delist the app. It sounds harsh, but it would be easy for any developer who cared to make sure they downloaded the app now and then to keep it listed and you'd probably find many don't bother to do that for apps that aren't performing at all anyway.

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ANYONE on Google+ can now email you, with or without your Gmail addy

Tom_
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Better Approach

Maybe peopel would react better to this kind of thing if Google didn't turn it on by default, but instead made it available and then tried to explain to people why they might want to turn it on.

That or they'd realise they couldn't persuade anyone to turn it on because it's so obviously going to be far more trouble than it's worth.

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Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

Tom_
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"Smartwatches and wearable devices have proved the key theme of the show, with lots of folk jumping on the bandwagon to try and get a piece of the action early, now well-known birds like Fitbit and Pebble have been enjoying."

"Smartwatches and wearable devices have proved the key theme of the show, with lots of folk jumping on the bandwagon to try and get a piece of the action [that] early, now well-known birds like Fitbit and Pebble have been enjoying."

Better? :)

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Sony seeks mojo reboot with 147-inch 'honey-you-can't-afford-me' 4K home projector

Tom_
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Re: 147 inch eh?

Even knowing that, it was more fun to say 148.

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