69 posts • joined Wednesday 8th July 2009 17:38 GMT
You've blown it!
You've blown it now, ratfox! Next year they will just tell us it was between 1-1000 NSL's. There goes our huge information source.
Switched to Kubuntu
I got my new computer a couple of months ago, and didn't want to go with Unity. I probably could have, from what a friend says. I just want a blank desktop with a single task bar on the right hand side of my screen. Apparantly I *can* set it up that way. Anyway, I've ended up going with Kubuntu. I've never used KDE before, so there was a learning curve, but it seems to be going OK now. The biggest problem was that I spent a day or so getting sound to work. Turns out it was fine, but somehow my mixer (there's a mixer? Huh?) settings had all ended up as disabled, and the little red icons at the bottom of the various columns weren't jumping out at me.
My big problem with Unity is that it appears to force me to do a lot of stuff with the keyboard. I'm a touch typist, but I have a horrible memory - trying to remember all the funny key combos is quite difficult for me. Similarly, trying to remember the goofy names of many Linux tools is painful - having them readily available in a categorized menu is the way to go for me.
On TV too
I may have the details worng, but...
I think I saw a Surface on the show "Mentalist". And, Window 8 screens on "Hawaii Five-O". It was all just props of course, not actually doing anything. Looked strange to me, but then I'm a Linux guy.
Is there a RAM issue with running newer versions of Android on old devices? Do 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 all run nicely on a device with only 512 Meg? Updating to get new features is nice, but not so much if the update makes the device slow, or have failing apps all the time.
Aha! A solution to global warming. All we have to do is have everyone turn their backyards into mini peat bogs, and we'll be saved.
Hmm. How do I do a peat bog on a 5-foot wide concrete balcony?
There has got to be precedent for that before 2000.
If the patent holds, then lots of things are in trouble. I'm running an ancient Ubuntu 10.04, and on the bar I've got on the right side are live-updating icons for system load, network activity, disk activity, weather/temperature, CPU clock speed, ... Having that stuff there is why I run Gnome2 instead of something even simpler like TWM. Even under that, or way back under SunOs, the system load things were small tile-looking entities that continuously updated.
Gah! - still not gone
Annoyingly, I had just checked the comments here again, and went to send an email, when the phone rings. They're still out there. Different name. The first guy's accent was so bad that I couldn't really understand what he wanted. He was looking for the Windows key on the keyboard. Well, my keyboard is an old USB Sun keyboard, and so I suggested I try the key with the diamond on it. He passed me off to his supervisor at that point. The supervisor wanted me to find the key with the "four flags" on it. I told him it didn't have one, and mentioned Sun again. I had already told the other guy that I am running Linux, but I don't think he understood the concept. :-)
Mr. supervisor thanked me and hung up. That's about the best I have the patience for. :-)
"Windows Technical Support"
See title - that's what they usually called themselves (I'm in Canada). It sometimes got so bad that I was getting multiple calls per day. I'm glad they have been slowed down, at least for a bit.
I've never had the patience to string them along - got things to do, don't 'cha know!
I've never had a problem here in Edmonton, but it was a problem at my parents' house over in B.C. They had bird feeders there, and I don't here. The other thing was that they had windows on two walls of the same room, and we theorized that the birds were looking through the two windows and seeing familiar stuff beyond, and just taking a different route to it. Or so they thought.
What is OTT? Over The ???
Also, to answer one question, the reason to do everything with HTTP is that many corporate firewalls block nearly all protocols except HTTP. This is for "security", even though everyone knows that there are programs that wrap other protocols up into HTTP messages.
I guess eventually firewalls will start examining HTTP packets in more detail, and then be able to block based on the nature of those packets. Then another level of wrapping will be needed. And so it goes....
To answer the questions: yes!
The free Kindle app allows you to read ebooks from Amazon on your desktop, Apple or Android devices. That's what the article explained.
Similarly, you can transfer simple epubs to your Kindle via USB connection or email, as explained by another poster.
Kindles also natively support PDF, for document viewing (a bit restricted in scaling, etc.) And, Android devices have a quite nice Acrobat reader.
I use my Kobo VOX as a small Android tablet, so could read my Amazon ebooks on it if I wanted to (I prefer the e-Ink Kindle, however), but I also did the trick of using Calibre to convert an ebook I bought from El Reg and read that there. You have lots of choices, no matter which way you go.
Offered in Canada
I just checked the Kobo page, and the readers are offered. Looks like Canadian prices:
Mini - $80, Glo - $130, Touch - $100, ARC - $200
All are "Coming Soon", except the Touch, which had a "Buy Now" button.
ARC pages say 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1280x800, 2 Megapixel camera, 1 Gig RAM, Android 4, 8 or 16 GB models, 10hrs reading, 2+ weeks standby, uses Google Play. No mention of an SD slot (the VOX has one).
That 2+ weeks in standby would be the biggest benefit over the VOX, which only has a couple days of standby.
I'm lazy, so instead of trying to do my own research on what's going on, I'm just going to ask, and hope someone will answer me. :-)
I'm an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego). Been one for over 10 years. I'm a founding member of our local group, see web page here: <http://www.nalug.org> (warning - slow site).
Yes, you can buy individual pieces online from Lego (look for "Pick-a-brick"). However, since there are now so many piece types and colours, only a small subset are available there. Also, they are expensive - Lego seems to sell by weight, so rare stuff is the same price as common stuff.
Yes, you can still buy boxes of just bricks, etc. without instructions. Again, however, Lego is expensive, and that's not going to change - the material itself is costly.
Competitors like Megabloks have now got their quality close to Lego's. One remaining issue is that because they use a different material (which is why they are a lot cheaper), they don't last as long - bits of it flake off when you connect the pieces.
The Friends sets seem popular here - there are rarely much of them in the stores. I haven't bought any myself, but I mainly buy sets for parts to build my own stuff. I'll repeat the mention of the "Creator" line of sets - very worthwhile - each shows 3 different projects for the parts, just like the old Technic sets did.
I don't like the new style of "lift arm" Technic sets, so don't buy them. I find them simply too hard on my fingers in this dry climate, especially for disassembly.
Calibre fixed it! :-)
Running the book through Calibre did indeed fix it, although it shows up twice on the bookshelf, and it breaks if I try to delete one. Oh well - could be some setting in Calibre that I haven't looked at.
While experimenting, I turned on the Kobo Vox's Wi-Fi to see if some DRM thing required authentication. An update was available. I let it do its thing. With this new update, Kobo no longer has their own App Store - you now get "Google Play", and have to have a Google account to get apps, etc. I think on the whole this is a good thing - having their own store must have been a drain on their resources. However, this may mean they are getting out of the Android "tablet" business.
Doesn't work. :-(
Paid for the ePub. It arrived quickly in email. Copied it to my Kobo Vox. Imported it. Gets an error on opening. Sigh. Tried again. Same. I'll have to try running the book through Calibre to see if that helps. I chose the ePub for my VOX since it has a colour display, instead of the Kindle version - my Kindle is B&W.
I had a Sorcerer here in Canada for a year or two. I extended it with a huge external box with space for a pair of 8 inch floppy drives. I was always amused by the expansion slot devices, which were in 8-track tape cartridges. I remember a truly impressive Dr Who game that used the programmable character set to do a full-3D flying-through-space game, a bit like asteroids. No native sound output, however - I had an external one that did off/on via a pin on the parallel port.
Proper keyboard, upper and lower case, able to hook up floppy disks - excellent!
But, what is that switch in the middle of the bottom of the front? Mine didn't have one of those.
Not cheap anymore!
I've recently (last week) looked at some e-books for my Amazon Kindle. The prices, at least for new books, are nothing like cheap anymore. They are now higher than the price of a paperback. For example, I payed CDN $15.34 for Sanderson's "An Alloy of Law". I think I'm going to stick to older books on my Kindle for a while!
Worked here (Edmonton)
The pics are kind of cool. The video is a lot of ink-blot type stuff, but has Star Wars images sort of hidden in it.
I know some local fans that will likely want to go. Me, I like SF, but I'm not really a Star Wars *fan*.
"Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90"
Didn't you miss the first one, Supercar? The world would have collapsed completely if MasterSpy had gotten his way...
Watched the YouTube clip - must admit I don't remember that one. What's "Dragon" got to do with a tentacled thing with a furnace? Or didn't I follow the comments properly? The "sound effects" seemed quite annoying.
Some random thoughts
Good reading Trevor, keep it up!
It seems in my narrow viewpoint, that El Reg's readership has more "climate change deniers" than other forums. Could there be a reason? Perhaps the reason is that El Reg is British, and so a majority of the readers/commentators are British. The British *ISLANDS* have a climate that is moderated by all the water around them, and so wouldn't show the drastic changes that climate in the middle of North America, Asia or Australia could show.
If the world is warming up, there are lots of bad consequences: coastal areas getting flooded, effects on plants and animals that humans depend on, thus potentially leading to economic problems, health problems, etc. What's the downside to trying to fix things? (Ignore the crazy ideas that have been suggested, that could cause more harm than good.) The downside is mostly economic - it costs a *lot* of money, and the benefits are very long term. That's lost potential (the cynic in me says: fewer toys) for possibly great stuff. If nothing else it would mean that all of us would be a bit "less rich". I'm not a gambler: I'll take that over even the possibility of the huge badness that might be avoided.
Let's say we have an old farmer, who lives 30 miles from any major population center. His father bought a thermometer 50 years ago and they have been recording temperatures every day since then. I'll believe that farmer's opinion on climate change over the opinions of economists and geologists!
Why are so many people so unwilling to believe in climate change? Be honest folks - scientific stuff either way isn't the real reason. The real reason is that everyone knows that doing anything significant would cost so much money that most people's standard of living would be hit. And nobody wants that, so lots of people are fine with being "climate change deniers". Did I mention that I'm cynical?
Carefull Richard, this article, written with the assumption of global warming, just about goes against The Register's editorial position. That was previously pushed hard by Andrew, and now we see Lewis jumping on it.
It would be a shame to see this being your last El Reg article - your articles are some of the most technically detailed and well researched on El Reg, and I for one would miss them.
In this particular article it is a bit disappointing to see the paper's authors concluding that the effect they see is anthropomorphic just because of its overall pattern - there could easily be other causes. Still, it is a worrying indication, as is the side note of observed southward species migration in Australia.
(Here in the supposedly frigid north, we actually did have a week of cold weather, but now we are back to 6-7 degrees above normal, making nearly 3 months of that this winter.)
Just some more fodder for the long-running flame-fest on El Reg:
Here in Edmonton, Alberta, we set a new high-temperature record 2 days ago. We beat the old high temperature by 3 degrees, with a temperature of +12C, 20C above the normal daytime high for this time of year. Lots of places in western Canada similarly broke records. Some forecasts indicate that 2 days from now might break records as well.
Now breaking records is not that big of a deal. This year we have almost no snow, and that increases the amount of warming from sunlight, thus melting more snow and ...
The thing that we are set to do that is totally unprecedented, however, deals with the number of consecutive days where we don't get below -10C. This long a stretch of very warm weather in December/January has never happened before, at least during the 100+ years that temperature measurements exist for.
This time of year is normally our coldest. The long range forecasts in the fall had said that we were going to have a unusually cold and snowy winter. Not so far...
I've had a Kobo Vox here in Canada since the day they became available. I just wanted an Android tablet to play around with. The Vox works fine for that. Most of my time with it has been spent playing games, like Angry Birds and Doodle Fit. I have yet to finish a book on it - I've got the 3G Kindle keyboard for book-reading. Once games are started, they play fine (one exception so far is Word Twist, which doesn't register touch positions properly - it may be a dumbed down version). Movies play fine as well.
On an upcoming holiday, I'll have WiFi available, so plan on taking the Vox along for web browsing, game playing, and watching some Star Trek episodes I've put on a micro-SD card.
Having the battery dead happens a lot. The solution is to turn it completely off when you aren't using it, rather than just putting it in standby. Cold booting takes longer, but at least you can use it afterwords. I have seen touch glitches, and lack of response with it. One suggestion: don't create folders for stuff - I'm told that Android in general doesn't handle them well.
RAM => Flash
Nice little article.
You should fix the references to RAM to be Flash as well - its a tad confusing as is. As any geek will tell you, RAM is the stuff that doesn't keep its data when you power it off.
The Fire has 8GB Flash, with apparantly about 2GB used for the OS and installed apps, leaving 6 GB for the owner's books, apps, music, videos, etc. About the same as the Kobo Vox, except you can expand the Vox with an additional 32GB via a micro SD card.
"moiety"@ 11:14 - easy to disable - its in the instructions. I did it right away.
Neil Barnes @ 14:24 - easy to turn off WiFi. Saves the battery a lot too.
My main complaint: no way to get rid of some built-in apps that keep starting up. (eGlobe, INQ)
The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board??? Nooooo! I want there to be some money left in there when I need it!
Aliens would be *alien*. It would be a nuisance, and perhaps quite unpleasant, for they and us to meet face to face. Differing atmospheres, unpleasant or harmful trace gasses, incompatible gravity levels, etc. To say nothing of possibly totally incompatible communication systems.
So, how would exploring aliens want to contact a new species? How about through computers? But, look at the state of our computers today: a totally uncontrolled mess of porn, viruses, scams, unsafe programming, and zillions of bugs.
So, the aliens may be out there, but they are patiently waiting for us to get our act together and produce a global computer network that they would be willing to connect to.
(See, it *is* IT related!)
I'm not comparing my $199 Kobo Vox to these higher-end tablets, but I thought I would mention a couple of things. (Vox has no cameras, bluetooth or GPS)
It's odd that Android 3.0 doesn't support the use of SD cards, or enable device use as USB mass storage, given that Android 2.3.3 (what the Vox has) does both. (Unfortunately my dang Ubuntu desktop won't recognized either the Vox or my cell phone as storage devices - it *does* recognize my Kindle (keyboard) and Sony PSP however).
I'll wait to hear more about Flash support on portable devices being dropped - that seems like a very strange thing to do - it is a pretty big market, and growing fast.
I haven't actually tried to change things on my Vox yet, but you can certainly poke around a lot wih the "Android Terminal" available for free. One thing I'd like to do is turn off a couple of apps that the Vox came pre-supplied with (Globe & Mail, and INQ) - I think they are eating my battery in idle mode. Running "ps" (process list) shows a *lot* of stuff running, including stub processes for apps that are not running.
As for playing videos, well a friend brought some huge 1080i MP4 videos from a military helmet-cam. I put one on my micro SD card via my computer and the Vox plays it. It *does* hang on the video part way though, but so does my Linux desktop. It completes if I scroll past that point.
So, what does Android 3.0 add? Seems like it was a step back from 2.3.3 .
I'm better now
At the time, the only other books I had on it were the free ones: a kids book and a recipe book. Had to use *something* to try it out. I've got a bunch of free books now - tried "The Lost World" this aft.
Haven't figured out how to get stuff from the main Android app store yet - it keeps telling me that I need an Android phone registered with it. I'm sure others have managed to get Android apps onto tablets, but so far no luck for me - I'm stuck with the official Kobo app store.
7 inches is about right isn't it? :-) Perhaps Paris likes them bigger, though.
Seriously though, the bigger devices are heavy and awkward to hold for long spells of reading. I've done lots of reading with my 7" e-Ink Kindle, and it works quite well for that. I picked up my 7" Kobo Vox LCD reader/Android-tablet a couple of days ago, and it is noticeably heavier, but still quite holdable. I've been playing around with it quite a bit (my first Android device), so haven't tried it for any serious reading yet, other than the manual.
Raise your hands if you are aware that the length value "n" given to "strncat" says how many characters to take from the source string, and says nothing about the size of the destination buffer. So, it does not directly protect against buffer overflows. At least that's the way it is described on Gnu/Linux, and that surprised me.
@ Dan Paul
Curious. My Samsung HT-BD1255 (bluray + 5.1 sound system) plays the new Star Wars blurays just fine (watched "Revenge of the Sith" last night). The box is over a year old, and I haven't seen a firmware upgrade for it. But, I don't have its ethernet connection hooked up - I've only done that a couple times to check for upgrades. It has played every bluray I've given it. The Star Wars disks do take quite a while to start up, however.
If Samsung has been using different hardware codes for different model players (which would be reasonable, IMHO), then perhaps your particular model (or even your specific unit?) has been specifically disabled for some reason. My limited understanding of bluray DRM says that is possible.
If either your model or your unit has been disabled, then you may not be able to play *any* new bluray disks, as they will all list it as disabled. Keep checking for a firmware upgrade.
Sounds like the Firefox guys want to be seen to be doing something, and just marking Java as "bad" is the easiest thing they could think of. It certainly doesn't seem like a "right" answer to me.
I'm a Linux/C/my-own-stuff programmer myself (never used Windows much, but have done a bit of work with it in the past). But, I find what MS is doing here quite interesting. For example, the concept of not allowing full file paths to be used from inside the code, instead requiring them to come from the user, is an interesting idea. However, I'm pretty old fashioned (I *like* strong static typing), so I don't know how well some of this will go over with the latest generation of wizz kids.
I was going to complain about the inconsistency in the article between "Elk" and "Moose", since here in Canada they are very different beasts. The header line for "Elk" in Wikipedia:
"This article is about the North American and East Asian animals, also known as wapiti. For the animal Alces alces, called the elk in Europe, see moose."
cleared up my confusion!
Increasing the tree density of a forest makes it more likely to burn in a forest fire. A forest fire puts out a *lot* of CO2 and smoke, kills lots of wildlife, and can be very dangerous. Just ask the hundreds of folks living in Slave Lake Alberta who recently lost their houses to forest fires. Other fires are still burning up north - it has been a very bad spring and early summer.
Fire icon because, well, its appropriate here.
The Kindle has a nice size E-Ink screen. It's much better for book reading than the smaller, light emitting iPhone or iPod screens. An iPad has a better size, but it is still a highly reflective light emitting screen. It simply doesn't work anywhere near as well as the Kindle's screen in bright light, and studies have shown that screens like it give more eye strain than the non-emitting screen's like the Kindle's.
I have a Kindle, and find it quite readable. Much nicer for long-term use than this computer screen, for example. Also, the Kindle is quite light (weight-wise), so works nicely for holding.
Mine were Amigas
I wasn't able to afford an Apple II when they came out. I could only drool.
But, in 1985 when the Amiga 1000 came out, I had a job, and so could afford one. It had the memory expansion card that took it up to 512K, along with a second (external) floppy drive and the CBM multisync monitor. Next was an Amiga 2000, which I later upgraded to a 2500 (68020 CPU). Then came the Amiga 3000 (68030 CPU). Since I was doing lots of work on my Amigas, I took the unusual step of buying an A4000T (68040 tower) a few days *after* Commodore shut down.
In searching for more space here, a couple of weeks ago I finally decided to get rid of them all. First I tried them out. All still work, although the 3000's hard drive is a bit flakey in some spots. I ran my AmigaMUD server on the 4000T, had the 1000 and 3000 connected with serial ports, and for a couple of hours 3 of us bashed around on it. The 4000T and the 3500 went to a friend's storage area first. I played another game of mine on the 3000 until I would have needed to draw maps. This past weekend, the remaining two and the monitor when to storage as well.
I will miss the machines, but I really wasn't going to use them, and need the space.
I hope this stuff is proved out - makes for a much more interesting world.
But, how do we know that these very rare meteorites are not of terrestrial origin? They could have been sent up by supervolcano eruptions, asteroid impacts, etc. There are probably some scenarios where such events could leave chunks floating around that won't get back to earth for millions of years.
So, is this new stuff tied in knots with IP protection, or are AMD and others allowed to implement it in their products?
If not, then Intel is trying to get websites to end up operable only via Intel CPUs. That *might* have sort-of worked a few years ago, but with so many mobile browsers based on non-Intel CPUs, it would be a lot less feasible today.
I vaguely recall hearing that some new security stuff that Intel/Symantec were doing was such that it was simply a lot faster on an Intel CPU with some new technology. Is that the case here?
Wasn't Unix first written in assembler for the PDP-7, not the PDP-11?
At the U of A in Edmonton, Canada, the department had a PDP-9 (18 bit words), with a storage tube vector display attached. I did a project for that combo, with another student.
The first version of my Draco compiler, before it was even called Draco, was written for the department's PDP-11's. I first started on a PDP-11/60, but had trouble with it, since some operations treating it as a pure stack machine didn't work! I was allowed to move over to the PDP-11/45 and my code worked fine on it. That was the start of a long sequence of compiler writing, etc.
We mostly ran Unix on the 11's (U of A has Unix license #5 (3?)), but I remember a fellow booting up one of the DEC OS's so we could run the first version of Zork. I eventually wrote some nasty support code that allowed it to run directly under Unix - luckily the trap instructions used for system calls could be trapped under Unix.
Great fun back then - thanks Ken!
I'm perhaps being too paranoid. But, what if the buyer is actually Microsoft? With that, they will have the rights to Unix regardless of any legal wrangling between SCO and Novell. Perhaps they want to start a legal fight that will tie lots of Unix/Linux folks in a knot for years.
Do the cell-connected tablets use regular sim cards?
If so, and you really are willing to spend the money, then perhaps you can order a tablet from the states, buy a cheap phone with a data plan, and swap the sim cards.
Just don't blame me if you spend a lot of money and it doesn't work. :-)
Be happy Trevor, here in Edmonton it is now 31 degrees C warmer than it was 48 hours ago!