* Posts by Return To Sender

151 posts • joined 27 Jul 2009

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Independent inquiry into British air-traffic-control IT nightmare

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Political PHBs

Obligatory knee-jerk reaction from people who know sod all about the subject but think they need to be seen to be on the side of the poor old travelling public. Politicians should obliged by law to keep their mouths shut until they've had it explained to them with pictures and short words exactly what happened and why they shouldn't overreact.

There may well be areas where more money could be usefully spent, but it'll never stop something like this happening; all systems are fallible. It's how it's handled that matters, and in this case nobody died. The disruption (or length of it) could have been reduced if the major airports weren't running so close to full capacity, but that's a different argument for the politicians to get excited about / duck depending on where their constituencies are.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

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Re: Expensive!

@Betacam

Think you've missed the point of many of the comments - fix (or set a maximum for ) the width of individual articles by all means - once you're reading them. That's fine, for the reason you state.

However, on the front page, each article link is already constrained within its own container (essentially an 'n' column table (or grid if you prefer), whatever the markup used to achieve it). Allowing the value of 'n' to vary with the screen width is not that complex, frankly, and would allow more article links to be displayed. Which is highly desirable, given the larger text and wider spacing around the article links now which has reduced the number of articles visible at a glance.

And just to add another voice to the 'too much white' theme running through the comments, El Reg - it bloody hurts with all the clear space on the page. Way too bright. If you must keep this new theme (please don't), at least knock the background colour down a notch or two, even #fafafa would help.

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Alien

Consultant. Somebody mentioned a consultant?

Why do I get the horrible feeling that Bong's behind this...?

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Alert

No. No, doesn't do it for me

First up, it would have been nice if you'd posted an article at the same time as pushing out the change so I didn't waste 20 minutes trying to work out what I'd done to my browsers

Second; there's a huge amount of wasted space on my main screen. Either make the page aware of what it's rendering on and use the space accordingly, or don't bother. And please don't make the header pic a third of the screen, it's pointless and irritating. I read the articles for the information, it's not a picture book fer chrissakes.

Third; not opening the article in a new tab? That's so basic I can't believe it's a deliberate design choice rather than a cockup, kindly fix it forthwith (edit: ah, it changes from black to a dark grey. Didn't spot that on the screen set the way it was. Grey. Really? C'mon...)

Fourth; what have you done with the 'visited' CSS so's I can see which articles I've already read? I use that sometimes as a fast-scan when looking for an article, not to avoid the article.

Fifth; article spacing on the main page; too much. I'm spending far more time scrolling up and down than before, it's a pain. And if you've got to have pics for the article, leave 'em in the rotating banner, or on a mouseover or something, don't throw another another possible row of article headers away just to look exciting and funky (or whatever).

That's from five minute's worth of browsing, so first impressions. But I'm concerned that as it stands it's not going to grow on me. The value of El Reg to me is the content, not the presentation so much. By all means make changes, but please don't lose sight of what people come here for. We enjoy the tabloid humour, since by and large it's not accompanied by tabloid-level journalism; let's not have the tabloid presentation style suited to limited attention spans for people who struggle to reach the end of a sentence, let alone a whole article.

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Sink your teeth into OCZ's ARC 100 SSD sizzler with tasty home-grown chips

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Re: OCZ Reputation

Talk to insiders and you'll find out there were some horrendous bugs in the firmware / silicon. The new stuff's subject to vastly more rigorous testing. Their biggest problem is going to be getting past the crap reputation they've gained (deservedly) over the last few years.

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Joke

Re: Dear father christmas !!

No way Santa's emptying his sack in to my stockings - that's what Mrs. Santa's for.

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Violet, you're turning violet! Imagination unveils graphics-tastic hobbyist board

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Re: "The Ci20 will cost $65 (US)/£50 (Europe)"

'Johnny Foreigner can't buy gasoline (petrol) from the pump in the USA.'

If you have more time to waste, try leaving the car at the pump, going through the queue to get pre-authorised, getting back to the car to realise that you've parked with the filler on the wrong side and the hose doesn't reach, getting back in the car to turn it around, grab the hose again and then realise that the authorisation has timed out, meaning you've got to do the whole thing again. This at a Wawa in Collegeville, PA, where the counter staff just randomly walked off leaving the queue wondering...

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

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Headmaster

Re: Accept no substitute!

'mogadon'

That would be methadone, then. I, personally, have never fallen asleep eating a pie ('real' or 'fake') but have had some slightly surreal experiences from one.

Ref. Denis Healey describing Geoffrey Howe as 'mogadon man' in the house of commons.

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Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE

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Re: half and an hour? And bring back the barbeques.

And if you've made the effort to get to Goonhilly, Ann's Pasties is only about 8 miles down the road in Lizard village of course.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

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@Robert

The one thing that briefly raised a smile the day after my dad died; fielded a junk call at Mum's:

JC : "Can I speak to Mr. M..."

Me: "Only if you know a damned good medium - he died last night"

JC: "Ah.. Err. umm.. *Embarassed silence*"

I really like to think that the old guy managed to ruin a junk caller's day with that one.

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Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

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Pint

Also trialling...

I shall be watching the tracking action appropriately adorned in a rather fine T-shirt that arrived in the post not 24 hours ago - Cheers!

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

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Re: Cheap enough

I have a mini fridge to keep the beer cold (or the soft drinks when I actually need to keep a clear head). A bar would take up just a little too much space to be able to maintain the impression of it being a working space and not a hideaway...

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Re: Cheap enough

@kmac499 - nice idea, but I'm ahead of the game already. Got the hi-fi set up in the garage, there's an old desktop mini-PC for the 'net feeds, WiFi router with a wired connection back to the house network, DAB/FM radio connected to the amp and a floating 3.5mm cable for the occasional MP3 player / whatever connection. Oh, and a dartboard. Also now have a spare DVD player at the moment, just need to persuade the commander in chief that we need to upgrade the house telly so's I can retire the current one to the garage. Not going so well on that front though.

Sometimes I even work on my motor vehicles in there...

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Cheap enough

Hmm. Big/hi res enough and cheap enough (especially with Clubcard) for me to finally get hold of the tablet I keep thinking would be handy for the workshop manuals in the garage...

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Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

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Thumb Up

Re: Want one!

Now there's an idea. Sod office curling, we want office Formula One!

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

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Re: Wouldn't happen in the States ...

You get Air Midwest flight 5184 instead.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481

Sadly this one ended up tail heavy. Add in some dodgy outsourced maintenance and you get dead people.

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Broadcom reveals $20 'Pi in the sky' IoT development widget

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Here y'go

http://www.broadcom.com/products/wiced/sense/

And I suspect the press release reprint is 'cos nobody's got one yet. 'Leastways, they seem to be on an 8-week lead from Mouser. Piqued my curiosity just enough to do the search, though.

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Tesla trademark spat threatens Musk's China dream

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Re: Poor Nikola

Linked to from other articles IIRC, but anyway:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

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Re: "Super" hub ?

'When I first got one, I immediately went into the settings, to setup DHCP the way it needed to be.

Couldn't do it. It forces the IP address of the internal network - you can't change it'...

Eh? Much as I dislike the firmware on the Superhub, and VM's support (at least until you get escalated to the UK guys), you're wrong on this point.

You can set a non-default IP (I use a 172.*.* range instead of the default 192.168.0). The DHCP server only gives addresses within its local subnet, but that's no big surprise. I don't use it, 'cos I want a bit more stuff delivered by the DHCP server so I've got a full DHCP server running on my NAS box (was running on a RaspberryPi but I 'repurposed' the 'Pi). Same way as the NAS runs my primary DNS, so I don't hit VM's DNS service anyway...

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Down-with-the-kidz Apple stuffs up with wild 'funness' claims

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Happy

Stop making up stupid words?

And if they can stop 'em doing that, they could go on to make water run uphill, the sun come out at night and make a politician do something genuinely useful with no self-interest.

I'm not going to even *try* to inject street-smart comments here. The whole point of 'yoof-speak' is to be incomprehensible to anybody out of their teens, and I'm so far past that point I can't see it with a big telescope.

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Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

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Ah, the missing component...

... to add to my garden-shed EM pulse system. Let's see 'em keep the bastards in the air with fried electronics. Still a tad concerned about collateral damage, though; maybe I should look at frikkin' lasers. Anybody out there breeding flying sharks yet?

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SEA hacks Reuters website widget DESPITE 2FA security

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2FA?

Presumably in this case works out as double F**k All...

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Soccer Football in SPAAACE! ISS 'naut nails zero-G bicycle kick

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Draw straws.

When the ball gets accidentally kicked in to the orbit next door, who has to go and ask for it back?

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

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Re: Reaching out

Onboarding; waterboarding for the soul. And waterboarding is exactly what should happen to anybody using 'onboarding'.

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Full marks...

Having now peer reviewed Dr. Oren's complaint I believe he has presented a convincing case, and I applaud El Reg for responding with a correction in a timely fashion! Go boffins!

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Plucky Playmonaut bails out of smoking Vulture 2

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Re: Which bit failed?

Ref the Zener - yup, that's the catch; they clamp the voltage, but the excess energy's got to go somewhere, and that's heat. You could end up with the Zener burning out, closely followed by the motor. Might want to consider some sort of switching regulator; not as cheap as the Zener, but not wildly expensive either - and it's mission-critical after all. Not sure what oomph you need, but a TI LM2569 for example would support 3A at 5v for around a tenner with all the bits 'n bobs. wouldn't need a lot of space either.

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NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

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Happy

Balls

So, these inflatey bubble things; once they've splashed down, and assuming it was used for a manned flight, does that mean the 'nauts then get to walk the bubble back to base? I just can't get the picture out of my head...

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Did Google order staff to 'steal' web ad cash from publishers? THE TRUTH

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Nah...

Whatever else I may think about Google, I don't think they're stupid enough to do something like this in such a blatant, heavy-handed way. And if they had, there'd been a lot more noise from ex-employees by now.

Somebody's on an ego trip, methinks.

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

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Re: Namco Xevious

You're welcome. I did have the Xevious ROMs hanging around some time ago, worked nicely on MAME. Sadly I should have been paying more attention to backups *before* the disk failed, learnt that one the hard way.

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Namco Xevious

First arcade vertical scroller I got hooked on, about 1983/4ish? It was responsible more than a few over-extended lunch breaks down the amusement arcades. Seem to recall one of the impressive bits was the tall screen compared with most other games at the time.

Never played Xenon, but reading the article I have a sneaking suspicion where some of the influences came from... :)

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

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Re: Brings back memories

I've got several thruppeny bits hanging around, along with ha'pennies, pennies, farthings, tanners, a few two-bob bits, think I've got a half-crown somewhere...

The missus uses 'em at school to freak out the smart-arse kids who have got their decimal maths down pat. I love one of Terry Pratchett's footnotes which concludes something like 'the British resisted decimalisation as they thought it would be too complicated'...

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

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Re: Having used every desktop version of Windows since 3.11,

Ditto. Win8 (or rather, Server 2012) has been a PITA for me. Try driving a touch-oriented interface over a slightly iffy shared remote desktop session not actually having used said interface before. And then trying to work out where the hell everything's gone.

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AT&T waves its magic wand, turns that $30,000 Audi into a Wi-Fi hotspot

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Stupid data limits again...

Yet again, a mobile operator setting pointlessly low data limits on fast mobile. On the basis the most likely use for a high-speed link is going to be streaming (for the kids in the back on the journey), how long exactly is 1GB/month (average, ok) going to last? I'm amazed Audi can't see it, either.

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

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Re: For me there is a basic question

I swapped the router PN supplied what I started with 'em years ago, for something more capable. They've never tried to update me since, so I've stuck with my own routers, ta. And I don't set DNS at all on the routers, I run my own server in-house which very definitely doesn't have dodgy passwords. In the interests of greening the household's IT infrastructure, it's currently running on a RaspberryPi.

And incidentally, although there does seem to be a bit of opportunistic PN bashing going on here, my own experience over the last few years is that their standards are dropping, more so recently. My last couple of line issues have taken days to sort out, with me doing most of the legwork.

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Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

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Only two questions

Assuming they can scale it;

1) What sort of power does it need and 2) can it produce a sensibly bright image, i.e. that could be used in a room with 'normal' lighting.

If the answer to 1) is 'about the same or less as your display', and to 2) is 'yes' then they've got something potentially useful. If it drains the battery faster than a squirrel on caffeine or needs near-blackout conditions, then it remains a gimmick in a 'phone, no matter how clever it is.

Personally I hope they can get it to work, 'cos I've had occasions where an impromptu wall projection would have been dead handy. Of course, there would be the problem of how to prop your device stably at the right angle (think you've got a steady hand? try magnifying by a factor of 15-20 and see if you can still read the screen :) ), but I'm sure somebody would make a case for that...

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

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Re: Fatal attraction

Hadn't heard of that one either... hang on...

Ooh - right on the front page; the bench PSU I've been telling myself for *years* it'd be a good idea to have. And slotted aluminium extrusions; just wow!

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

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RDF

The reality distortion field still hard at work, I see, if they really think think that's the best of the bunch.

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Another climate change myth DEBUNKED by proper climate scientists

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"It's shoving it into a shredder and standing on the lid."

Err, no. No it isn't. All it's saying is that the current data isn't sufficient to show a pattern. It's not saying that the pattern won't appear (or will for that matter).

One of the reasons I generally pay little attention to populist media on this topic is that they have to present to an audience which struggles to think in long timescales and non-absolutes. The mass media have to be over-simplistic or they'll lose their audience. Big storms? - global warming. Summer droughts? - global warming. Makes a quick & easy headline, and guarantees a few more day's worth of stories as protagonists on both sides pitch in to ya-boo the others.

Have we as a species made climate variation more extreme? Well, right now, nobody actually knows. Lots of data about, lots of theories in lots of directions, but no hard and fast evidence in either direction. I personally feel you can't go around dumping loads of energy in to the system without something happening, but that's a feeling, not a fact.

It could be that the Hollow-Earthers were in fact correct, and Shamballa is now heated by a sophisticated system of heat exchangers drawing energy in at the holes in the poles; this is why we don't have tropical summers in Yorkshire or whatever global warming was supposed to produce according to earlier ideas. Of course, there will be excess heat, which has to go somewhere. I suggest that Shamballa is actually located somewhere under Yellowstone Park and is directly responsible for the so-called super volcano the geologists love to talk about. See - global warming will get you in the end...!

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Elon Musk plans GIGAFACTORY to feed his thirsty Tesla motors

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Re: Danger Will Robinson

So partnering with existing entrenched makers is a good idea, no? This is about stability of supply (if I've got big cash in the plant, I get first dibs on the output) and presumably increasing supply. Seems sensible to me...

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Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

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Tyres?

And those skinny, presumably weight-saving, tyres would be how useful exactly on soft or dodgy terrain? Just curious, I have no experience to bring to bear, but it seems a bit daft to fly yourself into somewhere only to end up hub-deep in the sand...

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

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Battery and storage

I'm now at pretty much the same stage. The only bits that really matter to me are decent battery life and storage (i.e. microSD slot). I carry a ton of different manuals, image files and software around with me - the smartphone's a productivity tool as much as anything else - with different subsets on separate microSD cards. I also carry a USB-equipped battery pack for those occasions when I can't get to a mains supply. Oh - and I sometimes use the device as a 'phone, too.

My next (and probably last for some considerable time) upgrade is likely to be the Sammy Note III, primarily for the big battery although the extra screen res might actually come in handy. The stylus is a must for that much res in such a small space though (and no, a stylus is *not* an anachronism, it's a tool like any other, I use whatever gets the job done best).

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

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Re: Shurely Shome Mishtake?

Momentary performance hit? To rebuild a 4TB drive in an array that sod's law says will be almost fully allocated when it goes bang? That's going to be a long moment... although I'd be more concerned about a second drive failing before the array's rebuilt, personally. You can make yer systems robust, but you've got to pay for it *somewhere*.

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Hands up if you have one good reason to port enterprise apps to ARM

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An ARM world would be nice, but...

Remember that porting on any scale would only happen if there's a strong economic reason to do so. We can have all the debates we like about the difficulty or otherwise of porting, but these days money wins.

Now, demonstrate a toolset that makes it equally easy (as in just a compiler option) to build on ARM as x86 and you might get the software houses on board. Persuade them to make their licensing platform agnostic, and you've got a non-argument for corporates when choosing their hardware. Demonstrate that the cost of acquisition is the same or lower as x86, that's another barrier down. Show that you can knock percentage points off of your operating costs, that's the money men on board.

And of course you'll do all of this on the sort of timescale that prevents Intel finally working out how to make the x86 run at really low power (not sure personally that's possible), thus removing your competitive advantage.

Don't have to like it, but you can't stick your fingers in your ears and go 'la-la-la' either...

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Pervy TOILET CAMERA disguised as 'flash drive' sparks BOMB SCARE on Boeing 767

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Joke

Re: NSA

Eh? You mean some people blow whistles when they, err, go? Or is there a strange anatomical condition I wasn't aware of?

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

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Re: I had the Sharp PC-1500 in 1992

Found my old PC-1500 in the bottom of one of those 'sort it out when everything else is settled' house-moving boxes a couple of weeks back when rummaging in the garage. Haven't tried to power it up yet (power block was there). Myself & a mate made a few quid programming them up for a company that wanted to send its salesmen out with a rudimentary estimator, they bunged us one each (with the bog roll printer) as part of the deal. Not bad considering we were basically schoolkids :)

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Can't wait for 4G? Take heart, 5G is on the way

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What's the point of more mobile bandwidth...

... if it costs you at least 10x more than non-mobile data. Most of the stuff I want to do out & about gets done by finding WiFi hotspots first where possible, as I'd rather not blow my month's allowance in a couple of hours.

Maybe Ofcom should have some pointed words with the networks before letting 'em anywhere near new spectrum.

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

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Hi pot, kettle calling...

Of course, Microsoft have never done anything dodgy that folks might want to whinge about on a mug, t-shirt, water bottle etc. Bah, a pox on all their houses...

Could get fun if somebody goes for the retaliation, think I'll give my popcorn supplier a heads-up.

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Personal web and mail server for Raspberry Pi seeks cash

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Re: Been there, done that

Yup, me too, no big deal. As you say, the biggest headache is the dynamic IP address, or more accurately how it's treated by other mail servers. Hanging on to my static IP address partly for that reason and also 'cos I run DNS for a couple of domains.

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Apple wins patent for entrance to retail store

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Re: I'm curious?

They don't take any old 'a' piss, they take fully patented 'the' piss. It's a high-end piss, as you can tell from the golden colour.

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DEAD STEVE JOBS kills Apple bounce patent from BEYOND THE GRAVE

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Re: Regardless of the merits of the Apple patent

I think it just means that if you have a good idea, make sure you've got the patent application well and truly lodged *before* you show it off to world + dog; presumably if you don't you're considered to have made it public domain. Just guessing, though.

No idea how you managed to get downvoted just for asking the question, btw.

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