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* Posts by jonathanb

1735 posts • joined 14 Aug 2009

Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

jonathanb
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Re: It was only a matter of time

A monopoly on the distribution of dead tree newspapers and magazines. I stopped reading dead tree computer magazines when I realised that I was reading things on it that I had read on places like El Reg about 2 months ago.

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jonathanb
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

They pay 20% VAT on their sales though, unlike Amazon's Channel Islands based Indigo Starfish which sold CDs and DVDs until the VAT loophole was closed and the Luxembourg based Amazon MP3 store which pays 3% VAT.

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Twitter's Tweetdeck must 'file accounts or be struck off'

jonathanb
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Actually there is a major problem with the current punishment regime.

A lot of people set up a new company, trade for about 2 and bit years without filing accounts until it gets stuck off, and then get away with not paying any tax on the profits, because the company no longer exists, and therefore HMRC is unable to collect the tax. The fines that Companies House levies don't get collected for the same reason.

Also, there is no legal investigation into the actions of the directors.

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Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 convertible Ultrabook

jonathanb
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Re: What a surprise!

If you think Windows 8 is hostile to keyboard/mouse input, then you haven't tried using Android with a keyboard/mouse

http://www.reghardware.com/2010/11/03/review_netbook_toshiba_ac100/

But then Google don't claim that it is suitable for use with a laptop.

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New tool jailbreaks Microsoft Surface slabs in 20 SECONDS

jonathanb
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Re: The other shoe dropping...

The malware can contain the rooting script ...

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Reuters rubbishes report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor

jonathanb
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Re: (untitled)

I can't really see how you could make the iPhone any smaller and still have a useable touch screen phone. Whereas, it is certainly possible to have a phone that is smaller than the S3. On that basis, I think there is more chance of a 5" iDevice than something smaller than the iPhone.

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Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

jonathanb
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They could always use their super-accurate TV detectors

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/06_june/24/licensing_detector_vans.shtml

It says they have them here, so it must be true. The BBC operate to the highest possible standards of honesty and integrity. They would never make inflated claims in a press release.

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Chinese Twitter Sina Weibo goes bilingual

jonathanb
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Re: Oddly enough...

I guess the big difference is that over here, you can say what you like about the Peterloo Massacre, and you could even back when it happened. If you were to suggest that a similar event took place in Beijing about 24 years ago, the Chinese authorities might feel the need to block you.

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Oracle, Dell, CSC, Xerox, Symantec accused of paying ZERO UK tax

jonathanb
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Re: illegal already

It would work actually, except that HMRC would want to tax the profits on your BVI company under controlled foreign company rules. Starbucks gets round that because the offshore company isn't controlled by a UK resident.

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jonathanb
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Re: Go right ahead...

No. If Microsoft Ireland ships out Windows 8 boxes to the UK, they don't have to pay any UK corporation tax on the money they make from them. Foxconn China certainly don't pay any UK tax on the fruity devices they ship here.

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jonathanb
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Re: Like, they wouldn't want to sell stuff in the UK any more?

They already have that rule, but for the companies listed, the revenue from UK customers isn't UK revenue, it is Irish revenue. Then the Irish company pays the UK company to provide outsourced support. What sort of money is suitable for that contract? I guess it has to be competitive with an Indian call centre, so that is a good starting point.

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jonathanb
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Re: Go right ahead...

Well the Amazon Kindle Store for example is based in Luxembourg. That doesn't stop Amazon selling ebooks here, and there is absolutely nothing the UK government can do about it. Amazon can pick whichever EU country they like to set up shop for any reason, or for no reason.

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Mega-res telly demand to boom, say ball-gazers

jonathanb
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Re: @Cyborg If you've got a TV big enough for this to make any difference,

You can compress a blu ray movie to about 5GB without any noticeable drop in quality. Quadruple the size for the extra pixels, and you still have plenty of space on a standard blu ray disk.

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Wi-Fi, WiGig Alliances to wed, breed 60GHz progeny

jonathanb
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Re: Specs: Does it penetrate walls? Useful range?

Does it penetrate walls? Not a chance

Will it penetrate a human body standing in the way? Not a chance

Useful range in air is limited by the fact that Oxygen atoms will also get in the way, so in many ways it is probably less useful than infrared.

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Polaroid plans retail Fotobars to print out your pics

jonathanb
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Re: That's the plan that sunk Kodak...

I am that niche market, but I got a Canon IP8500 to do the printing. That particular model is long since discontinued, but still working just fine for me. When it comes to replace it, I will get another Canon or maybe an Epson printer.

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Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

jonathanb
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Re: Oh go on, I'll feed em...

On internet facing servers, the number of linux machines is around the same or a bit higher than the number of windows machines. If you are a botnet operator, those sorts of machines are much more valuable than desktops.

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China turns the screws on netizens with real-name registration plans

jonathanb
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Yes, but you can get a pay as you go SIM for cash in a supermarket without telling anyone who you are.

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Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

jonathanb
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Re: re. Bootnotes

Trying to think how to explain it in terms a non-musician would understand.

Beat - you should generally be able to bang the table or your foot or something at a regular speed, and the changes in notes will generally fall into that beat. In a lot of music, the drummer will do pretty much that, in classical music, the conductor will wave a stick to keep time.

You may notice when listening to the beat, that one beat in every four for example is stronger than the other beats. That stronger beat represents the beginning of the bar.

In Britain we generally use words based on italian words to describe note lengths. These are as follows, with each one half the length of the previous one in the list

Breve, Semi Breve, Minum, Crotchet, Quaver, Semi Quaver

The Americans use english translations of the german words. These are as follows, with each one the same as the equivalent position in the previous list

Double note, whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note

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Feeling poor? WHO took all your money? NOT capitalist bastards?

jonathanb
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Some comments here

Some comments here:

When the evil bankers extract money from us, they do it in the form of bonuses, which for tax and reporting purposes is additional salary. Bankers bonuses are a lot lower than they used to be, which probably makes up the bulk of the explanation of why wages have gone down as a proportion of GDP.

When the government takes money off us in tax to spend on nurses and doctors, the bulk of it is spent on their salaries.

If you are looking to see where GDP is going if it isn't going on salaries, you need to look at three things. The first is imports. That is the money that leaves the country to pay Chinese Foxconn workers to make all our shiny iDevices. It isn't wages in this country. The second is benefits payments. Benefits go to people in this country, but they are not wages. The third is rent payments for our houses and commercial properties. That is money that goes to the evil capitalists that isn't wages.

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China switches on 'BDS' civilian nav-sat rival to GPS

jonathanb
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Re: So when do we start to see consumer SatNav

Probably quite soon. Most recent phones use both GPS and Glonass, because Russian import duty is a lot cheaper that way, and having designed the chip that does both, they may as well put it in every device. Also, while the accuracy of both systems is approximately the same, the accuracy if you use both systems together is a lot better.

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Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

jonathanb
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A fleet of white vans isn't the only way to lose your data

Another way you could lose your data is if you have a fire or flood. CDs and LPs might survive a flood, but not a fire. Hard disks almost certainly won't survive either. If it isn't sensitive data, then using the cloud for offsite backup could be useful, but as you point out, there are many ways you could lose your cloud data, so don't rely on it too much, but it could help.

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BT's 4G bid WON'T lead to mobile network launch

jonathanb
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Re: "ofcom was touting how its pricing methods would ensure spectrum is well utilised"

They, and before that Netvigator and Tele2 have tried to sell the concept of wireless broadband that works at around the same speed as cable based products of that time in Reading, but nobody really seems to be interested. In the past they have advertised on local radio, had local billboard adverts, stands in shopping centres, and junk mail to all the households and businesses in the coverage area. If people won't bite in Reading, I doubt the rest of the country will be any different. Maybe people in rural areas would like to have it because they have no alternative, but range that 3.5GHz offers doesn't make rural coverage particularly viable.

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Outlook 2013 spurns your old Word and Excel documents

jonathanb
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Re: Curious...

The difference is that activesync is far superior to the open alternatives and is much better supported by mobile devices (other than Blackberry), whereas docx and xlsx don't really offer any benefits over doc and xls and are also proprietary formats.

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PayPal founder funds 'tornado-driven' power plant

jonathanb
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That is essentially geothermal energy, which provides most of Iceland's electricity requirements.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

jonathanb
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Re: i have to use outlook.com

There is an outlook.com app for Android which is basically the same as the hotmail app with different branding.

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Dutch operators: Ugh, we really overdid it on the 4G last night...

jonathanb
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Re: mike@plokta.com

O2 of course did just that to switch some of their 900MHz spectrum over to 3G use.

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jonathanb
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In the UK, it would be classed as capital expenditure which isn't automatically allowable. It certainly isn't covered by any of the Annual Investment Allowances on offer at the moment, so that leaves the Plant & Machinery allowance which allows you to deduct 18% of the cost against your taxable profits. The definition of Plant & Machinery is pretty broad, but I'm not sure that covers spectrum licences either.

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Phone-hack saga: Police cuff man in southwest London

jonathanb
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Unhappy

and doesn't live in South West London

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Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists over Sandy Hook protests

jonathanb
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Re: "Protest the funerals"?

I can assure you that out of the 1 billion or so Christians in this world, 999,999,900 or so of them absolutely deplore what the Westboro Baptist Church is doing, and there is plenty of material in the bible that says that what they are doing is totally against God's teachings. This is absolutely not how Jesus would have done things.

Secondly, it is not entirely clear that the word translated in the bible to "sodomy" refers specifically to gay people. It covers sexual deviance in general such as rapists, paedophiles and so on. Words change their meaning over time, and when you translate, there is never a perfect 1:1 relationship in the meanings of words in different languages. Take the word "gay" for example. 200 years ago, it would have meant "happy, carefree'. 100 years ago, it got the connotation of loose morals. 50 years ago, it referred to someone of homosexual tendencies. Now it is increasingly being used to describe an inanimate object that doesn't function as it is supposed to. Eg Windows 8 is gay, or Apple iOS 6 maps is gay.

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ITU to treaty haters: Enjoy your pricey roaming, boatloads of spam... suckers

jonathanb
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Re: The conference broke down for good reason

Well if for example I attempt to visit http://thepiratebay.se , I am informed that I'm not allowed to visit that page, so this sort of thing is already happening.

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Taxpayers to cough for Comet staff redundo

jonathanb
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Re: What a deal

Darty actually paid them money to take the company off their hands. The money was to cover pension liabilities, but I suspect that will be dumped on the pension protection fund.

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jonathanb
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Re: I was talking to the staff

The reason they went titsup before Christmas is because they couldn't get the stock in to cover the Christmas selling period. For example the liquidators were selling iPad 3s at 10% off original list price. Comet would have needed a stock of iPad 4s to get through Christmas, and Apple isn't going to send them any if they don't think they will get paid for them, and the credit insurers won't cover it.

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jonathanb
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Employees are preferential creditors at least as far as unpaid wages are concerned.

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Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030

jonathanb
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Re: Let's do it.

The UK isn't big, but it is connected to a grid that covers Europe and North Africa, which is quite big. We quite often import electricity from France at the moment, and that won't change.

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon will NOT be prosecuted in the UK

jonathanb
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Re: No real bar to a trial in London

Yes it was

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/1

Causing damage makes it a more serious offence

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3

Which makes the difference between a maximum of 2 years in jail and a maximum of 10 years.

Realistically, it is going to be a few months at most, and that would be covered by the time he spent on remand, so he would walk free.

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jonathanb
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1. Find the IP address of a Windows server (this was the difficult bit)

2. Fire up Remote Desktop. I think it was called something else 10 years ago, like Terminal Services Client

3. In the username box, type "administrator". Leave the password box blank

4. Press "Connect" or "Login" or "OK" or whatever the button said back then

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John Lewis agrees to flog Microsoft's Surface RT tablets

jonathanb
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Re: This can only be a good thing

If I was Microsoft, I would focus on the mobile worker rather than compete with Apple and Android. For example a field engineer that has a laptop to manage his appointment book, access reference material, order parts and record the work he did at each of the jobs. The travelling salesman who needs access to the CRM database and to record orders and sales leads. The breakdown recovery person who plugs his laptop into the car to access engine management data. The surveyor who needs to record measurements and store photos relating to a site visit.

This is where Microsoft is strong at the moment, and the App Store model of Windows 8 doesn't really work for these sorts of customers.

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Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

jonathanb
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Re: So...

Yes, but you would need an extremely fast camera to be able to spot it.

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jonathanb
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Re: They can explain why a slinky does its thing...

It is only used by people with expense accounts who aren't spending their own money. There they can get away with charging pretty much any number that comes into their head, so they do.

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jonathanb
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Re: Is this 'signal propoagation' stuff...

It would go across the rod at the speed of sound rather than the speed of light. I don't know what the speed of sound in the metal rod would be, as it depends on the type of metal, but probably somewhere in the order of 6000 m/s rather than 299 792 458 m/s for light.

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In a mobile data eating contest, Brits would win - Ofcom

jonathanb
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Re: Source?

Mine works out about the same as you. £15 per month for "unlimited" data on my phone. £30 per month for broadband and home phone. That is one of the more expensive plans available, I could get the broadband cheaper elsewhere, but I prefer to pay more for a better service.

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Google maps app is BACK on iPhones, fanbois spared death

jonathanb
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Works fine on my iPod touch. No iPad version though.

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Londoners can bonk their way to work without Oyster cards TODAY

jonathanb
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Re: I have an idea

You want to have a bus with loads of them travel through some of the not so nice parts of London? And wait while people count them at some of the busier stops?

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Apple TV demand may drive Samsung-sapping sales

jonathanb
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Re: Vaporware

Maybe you could cut the networks out of the loop altogether?

News and sporting events benefit from being live, and I suppose things like The X-Factor benefit from being live as well, at least after the audition and judges house stages. For everything else, you probably want to watch a program rather than a channel, so maybe you could subscribe to a vodcast for the likes of Eastenders.

Of course it is worth bearing in mind that lots of people have tried to make money out of broadcasting English premier league football, and only Rupert Murdoch has succeeded, but still, I definitely don't think current smart TVs reach anything like their full potential.

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jonathanb
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Re: What could Apple bring to the table?

To take one example: Channel up/down works in the live TV section. It doesn't generally let you switch between BBC 1 and BBC 2 in the iPlayer app. For that, you have a different set of buttons to press.

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jonathanb
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

I suggest you study sampling theory. If you double the number of people you survey, it doesn't increase the accuracy of the results by much. That sample size is sufficient to give you a 3% margin of error, provided the sample was selected properly. Short of asking absolutely everyone, you aren't going to get much more accurate results than that.

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jonathanb
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Re: If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...

The UI isn't just about what input device you use.

If you are looking in the Live TV section, you have a particular screen layout and buttons to press if you want to do something.

Go to the iPlayer app, and you will find that the screen layout, and the buttons to press to perform similar tasks is completely different.

Go to the place where you find live TV shows that you recorded earlier, and everything is different again.

If your TV has ITV Player that is probably a completely different interface again.

Youview integrates the Live and On-Demand TV services. Maybe that is an improvement. I haven't seen one in action yet, so I can't pass judgement.

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Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

jonathanb
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Re: 1600x900

You might have problems with Windows with a resolution that high. Windows itself will be fine, but not some of the programs written for it.

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Another Apple maps desert death trap down under

jonathanb
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Re: Source: Google StreetView

Yes, and that is what Apple will need to do if they are to match Google for accuracy of their maps.

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

jonathanb
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Re: Well gosh

I would say the light is gravity powered. The unit has a store of gravitational potential energy which it converts to light. Yes, the unit is "charged up" using muscle power, but that is no more sensible than saying that my wireless mouse is steam powered because the batteries in it where charged up using electricity from Didcot Power Station.

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