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* Posts by Ammaross Danan

991 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

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TrueCrypt hooked to life support in Switzerland: 'It must not die' say pair

Ammaross Danan

Re: Readers nowadays

@Hit Snooze:

Last I checked "ostensibly" meant "purportedly" and "They blamed" suggests "They claimed," but then again, a thesaurus may not be on your bookshelf to know such things.

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

Ammaross Danan

Consumer vs Business

To actually address the questions raised at the end of the article:

Businesses don't (shouldn't) use consumer-grade equipment due primarily to scale. You load 20 work laptops (or more) onto your "cheaper" AirPort or Netgear/etc WiFi device and you'll be locking up, dropping, rebooting it frequently at best.

Google Docs or Apple iCloud would work well for documents and such, but I don't know many workplaces that are willing to toss their accountant's spreadsheets and ledgers out into the ether, let alone their HR documents. Does Google store their project code in Google Docs? Nope (at least not the public one). If you use the consumer versions of "cloudy" file sync, it's usually a single external USB drive attached to your WiFi device or (if you're lucky) something you can install on a home server. Most companies have a hard time just scattering their potentially-sensitive documents into the wind though. Use this in a healthcare environment and you'll be sued at best.

If you want to go further into storage servers (a whitebox FreeNAS vs a VNX or the like), there's pros and cons, but you can't convince me a bank would host their infrastructure on your whitebox FreeNAS. Sure, it's loads cheaper than their Ipsilon or Hitachi VSP, but I doubt that would persuade them. You could try selling Macbook Airs to a MAS90 shop too. Just because it works at home for Facebook and iTunes, doesn't mean it has business-class features.

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Wanted: Virtual Steve Jobs to tell us one more thing about VSAN

Ammaross Danan

More than just vSAN

You could also look at DataCore's SANSymphony.

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Traditional RAID is outdated and dying on its feet

Ammaross Danan

Re: broken RAID

An easy way to sidestep that patent would be to do what ZFS or BTRFS does: checksum each block in addition to the usual "raid" parity/mirroring. Then, even a "RAID0" is protected from cosmic-ray-bit-flipping with a rebuild-capable checksum on each block. Of course, these two file systems just use the raid controller as a JBOD interface so the system doesn't halt up due to a bad block on a single drive anyway....

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Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

Ammaross Danan

Re: Congratulations

Don't worry, he lost credibility by thinking Bethesda is the one making ESO:

"...which I’d say is the standard Bethesda should be aiming for."

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VMware hyper-converge means WE don't NEED no STEENKIN' OS...

Ammaross Danan

Re: Congratulations

"I tend to see far more multi-application deployments on Windows"

I'm not sure what world you live in, but our environment is highly isolated because Corporate Application 1 requires Software Stack 1 which is DIRECTLY incompatible with Software Stack 2 which is required by Corporate Application 2 and 3.

Not only that, but who wants to be rebooting their mail server, domain controller, web server, etc all-in-one SBS server just because an Exchange patch was pushed out? Windows still requires reboots for several items. *NIX environments can be patched/updated on-the-fly (got to love the ability to overwrite a file currently in use) and the components simply reloaded.

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Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Ammaross Danan

8.1 Preview Upgrade

You CAN upgrade your 8.1 Preview without wiping out your apps if you first run a cversion.ini removal utility like: http://code.kliu.org/misc/winisoutils/

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How many apps does it take to back up your data?

Ammaross Danan

Re: Speaking as a humble home user

@AlexV: "Of course, the disadvantage of this is that it is slow, as it always has to copy all the data. However, if you don't actually copy the data, and only assume that it's still the same because it isn't supposed to have been modified, how would you know?"

You could use a program such as rsync, which will (by default) checksum files to determine if contents have changed and delta-copy the differences to the destination, so this protects against bit-rot on the destination side, but your checksum datafile would help you find bit-rot on source side. Of course, you could just use a checksumming filesystem such as zfs or btrfs and not have to worry about it in the first place...

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One of last few iPhone 5Ss STOLEN from within MASSIVE POLICE CORDON at Apple Store

Ammaross Danan

Re: Wanted: Thieves with good eyesight

@Ledswinger: "They'll need good eyesight, as these look like any other smartphone of the day."

No, they look just like any other iPhone 5 of the day. (Minus the gold one, but toss it in the the usual phone case and you won't know).

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Doctors face tribunal over claims of plagiarism in iPhone app

Ammaross Danan

Missing something OBVIOUS!

They're doctors, likely with iPhones and iPads (hence an iApp), but most importantly, likely a Mac at home. This means they likely Apple(Command)+V'ed and not control+V as the text humorously suggests.

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HDMI 2.0 spec arrives ... 1.0 years late

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: I cant wait to see the price of a Monster HDMI 2.0 cable

@Fogcat (regarding his "giggle" link: http://www.highendcable.co.uk/Nordost%20ODIN%20Speaker%20Cable.htm)

You do realize that your link was to >>>analog<<< speaker cables which is an ENTIRELY different argument, right?

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Oh noes! New 'CRISIS DISASTER' at Fukushima! Oh wait, it's nothing. Again

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: Radiation Superstition

@Mike Richards:

"...so the cause is simple things like insecure footings, and inadequate safety equipment."

Just like getting exposed to this puddle would be bad "footing" and "inadequate safety equipment" as well. If Windmills were designed like nuclear reactors, They'd be fenced off a mile out, they'd be surrounded by a concrete wall, have a pyramid shape (for extra stability), and the workers wouldn't be able to climb the unit to service the turbine in the first place.

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Samsung's amazeballs 3D V-NAND SSD not THAT much better than predecessor

Ammaross Danan

Re: Why do we care about performance increases?

The erase lifetime is about 10x what it was before, lending to about 35k P/E cycles.

Also, am I the only one that noticed the Samsung quote was only regarding write speeds, but that the poor-at-researching author applied a boost to the read speeds, as if they were mentioned? Reads don't go from 500MB/s to 600MB/s just because sequential writes go up by 20%....

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7237/samsungs-vnand-hitting-the-reset-button-on-nand-scaling

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Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

Ammaross Danan

Re: Holy undergarments

Google Anaylitics

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Microsoft SkyDrive, Outlook stricken by cloud outage

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Rebranding

I'm I the only one who noticed that Microsoft's canned statement said "Hotmail" instead of "Outlook"?

Yep, thought so...

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Windows desktop VDI

Ammaross Danan

Re: Windows desktop VDI

Since it's for a non-profit, check out TechSoup.org. Great way to get the licensing you need for Hyper-V servers or just the fat Win7 VMs that run on whatever Virt solution you want.

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Apple crushes all competition in US Brand of the Year survey

Ammaross Danan

Re: Newegg. Never heard of them

To be fair to the OP, in context: "They compare notes all of the time and I have never heard Newegg mentioned." He's emphasizing that Newegg never came up as the cheapest source for electronics, which is true. But then again, they don't ship from Hong Kong (except their new Asian marketplace), and they're trustworthy. I'm sure I could find rather cheap electronics on eBay and buy there....but why would I?

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Back up all you like - but can you resuscitate your data after a flood?

Ammaross Danan

Re: You're not using MySQL's built-in replication???

@Trevor_Pott

I have to practice politics every day too. You've had to deal with a wider range, due to the nature of contract work. I, like yourself, tend to end up implementing compromised solutions IRL, because that is exactly how the world works. With office politics, as with armchair quarterbacking on the internet, you recommend the more-ideal solution first, then let it get whittled and compromised down into the end result. But yes, it is the sysadmin's (or more accurately, the CIO/CTO's job) to emphasize disadvantages or shortcomings of implementations. As a consultant, it remits to the consultant to point out those things too.

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Ammaross Danan
Stop

Re: You're not using MySQL's built-in replication???

"...would take a matter of days before they demanded that production workloads started operating off of it."

You bill it as a "backup." They wouldn't, rightly, demand to run your backup copies of the network shares as a production datastore, so they should not demand a backup DB to be a production workload. It is the network admin's job to teach that.

For TPTB for automated switchover: your example of why auto failover is a Bad Thing in your case should be the exact argument against doing so. As an admin, there's a fine line to walk between "I can make it do that" and "that simply can't [shouldn't] be done." IT is as much an advisory source as it is an enabler. Just because I can set up a group of FreeNAS boxes as iSCSI targets so I can scale up my environment to 60TB doesn't mean I should, simply because TPTB demand more space, but won't pay for a SAN. Likewise, caving to each want and whim of TPTB that don't allocate proper funding to do it right (or at least "better"), is not correct. Of course, with their software, there's not much of an "ideal" way to do it. Manual failover, manual corrections in the event of DR, etc. It's just how it is, and TPTB need to understand that.

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Ammaross Danan

Re: Not too shabby

"...I'm going to guess that you don't have backups going back that far."

Actually, we keep about 2 weeks worth of daily VM backups offsite with a week lag on cycling, so actually, YES, we do keep a fair amount of backups for which at least one image per VM would be restorable even in the event "last night's" backup failed for some reason. It's not hard to do, but certainly requires a decent storage device (ours has a good 20TB in it, but easy enough for a no-budget shop like Trevor's to set up a FreeNAS to do the same thing...)

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Ammaross Danan

Re: Not too shabby

"It isn't enough to just test the DR plans; frequency of tests is an issue. A copy of the VM existed on the target site...but that copy was corrupted. Couldn't get it to boot. (Most likely an incomplete backup run at some point.)

So the DR plans were good, they were tested to inject new information and files into a known-good VM...but the known good VM turned out to be not so good. At that point, down the rabbit whole you go..."

Unless you just snag the VM copy from a previous version. But if you don't keep previous backups of your VMs, but instead overwrite each VM each night, then you're just asking for trouble. This could have been avoided if you simply had "the night before" the corrupted VM. Software that can backup using incremental rather than full also help. I'm willing to bet, though, that DFSR was the sole means of remote-site copies (which does have remote differential transfers, if you're not politically stuck on Win2003....)

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Ammaross Danan

Re: You're not using MySQL's built-in replication???

"Your app needs to not blow up horribly on read-only DB instances..."

It shouldn't be a burden to remove the read-only denotation from your my.ini on your slave DB (since you're in there changing the slave bit anyway) in the event of a DR scenario to bring it up as a master. The replication was suggested to keep a nearly-live sync of your DB on a second server. Also, who said your app needs to know how to run on a read-only DB? The replication, in your case, would be solely for DR, not for active use.

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Look ma, no plugins! Streaming web video with just JavaScript

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: @Paul Crawford

"Hopefully the content makers will realise that you can't stop piracy, but you can make the paying option cheap enough and good enough (from the customer's point of view) to make the risks of pirating enough to stop all but the most hardened freetard."

You do realize that the whole point of this watermarked vid idea is to allow the customer to have a completely open, copy anywhere, backup as many times, view on whatever experience and is only meant to stop mass-sharing of the content (e.g. torrents, et al)? There are likely ways around it, such as if the watermark is some digital bits in the stream, doing a screen capture instead of pulling the raw data (or simply filtering out the bits or replacing them with other acceptable ones if it works like a software key...). The previous comment of embedding it as random one-off noise in the film, such as brightness, is a smarter idea, depending on the resiliency of being able to snatch the ID from a suitably short enough clip (there were comments of mashups to produce the whole length). Now, the download with a gift card from a coffee shop would need to be addressed, and short of a DNA sample and world-wide registrar, can still be worked around (stolen credit card numbers, etc). So no, as long as there's ways of digitally sharing data, there will be the possibility for piracy. It's just a matter of the level of acceptable mitigation.

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Why do they even call it a backup appliance? Just call it an EMC

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: Interesting

ExaGrid is a small company that would fall under that "others" category. They have a pretty good scale-out method. Haven't used one myself in production, but was looking into them.

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Build a BONKERS gaming PC

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Missing a few details

Put two (or three) 512GB SSDs in Intel (software) RAID0.

Drop 3 Radeon 7970s in triple XFire and hook up 5 monitors to it for multi-monitor gaming. (gives triple vid cards a reason for being used)

Definitely overclock the CPU.

Drop another 3 or 4 4TB spindle drives in there for some real media storage.

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Drilling into a half-decent gigabit small-biz switch... from D-Link

Ammaross Danan

Adtran

Trevor, you should pit your D-Links up against similar-class Adtran switches. I've seen that brand used in environments and would like to see your test bench hammer out their shortcomings, if any. They're also within this D-Link's price range too...

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Micron glues DDR4 RAM to flash, animates the 256GB franken-DIMM

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: Hmmm.

"OS Support" would imply exposing to the programmer which is volatile vs non-volatile for the programmer to decide which one to use for which task. Database servers don't eat themselves in the event of a power loss event and can resume semi-gracefully now, and we don't even have non-volatile RAM for them yet. Why would you assume we'd be worse off than we are now?

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: Maybe?

"there is no tangible benefit to DDR3 RAM frequency above 1600 MHz. as this is not a system bottleneck for typical work station or personal desktop PCs."

Actually, AMD APUs have significant graphic-subsystem gains with DDR3-2166 (or any range stepping up from the horrid DDR3-1066 that is usually shipped with cheapo PCs). Intel integrated GPUs don't benefit much, but their GFX performance is horrid (comparatively) anyway.

"so DDR4 and faster frequency hybrid DDR3+ doesn't offer any value for server applications either."

Do note that with increased frequency, your memory throughput increases. Just because current programs don't make significant use of 22Gbps throughput over 14Gbps (most machines only have 4-6GB of RAM total anyway), doesn't mean that NO program could be engineered to do so, especially with knowing there's 256GB of NAND storage hiding in a DDR4 slot (hence the OS support requirement). THAT location is where I, as a programmer, would dump my table cache that couldn't fit into actual volatile RAM, as it's guaranteed to have better throughput and access/storage speed than a spindle drive. Windows could utilize it by copying the whole OS there too. A game could make use of it by stuffing map packs, texture files, etc in there rather than leaving them on a spindle drive. Clustered systems could make significant use as well. We'll have to see. However, no one will design for it if they don't have hardware to test on, nor likelihood of adoption.

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Netflix tempts binge viewers with House of Cards pilot freebie

Ammaross Danan

HBO on AppleTV

You mean that after all the app censoring, that HBO really thinks they can get their night-time soft porn onto an AppleTV device? Will wonders never cease?

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Red supergiant Betelgeuse heads for SMACKDOWN with 'dust bar'

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: What has this got to do with a Supernova?

This article should have been tagged with a [b]Watch This Space![/b]

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Apple shares dive after quarterly report disappoints Wall Street

Ammaross Danan
Stop

"Post-PC Era"

And due to it being an Apple article, everyone missed the "Post-PC Era" jab. Of course, it won't be a "Post-PC Era" once everyone has a "Post-PC Device" and circles back to refresh their aging desktop/laptop. Then we'll be in the post-tablet era....

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Cheaper, slimmer Google Nexus 7 rumored for Q1 2013

Ammaross Danan

Re: Memory

@Fuzz: If storage is a kind of memory and thus capable of being used interchangably since "no one thinks" something, does that mean we can advertise a 4GB Android device as havi g 4GB of memory, or perhaps I should sell you a desktop with 8GB of memory...that actually had 256MB of RAM with an 8GB sd card. Of course, you wouldn't be confused or misled at all, since anyone would know....

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Memory

"Google managed to up the memory on the low-end model to 16GB in October."

Writer fail. "storage" =/= "memory" Should stop spending so much time reading the boxes and actually know what you're writing about.

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Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: lets just modify a typical Fandroid commentard on an iPad article

So, you bought a Nexus 7 for $199. A new, slimmer one comes out just a while later that is thinner, sexier, etc for $199. You buy it, now you're out $400 total, but have TWO tablets now. And you're roughly out the same price getting just the single low-speced iPad would have cost (iPad Mini is selling around $350 for the low-storage model).

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China 'enhances' Great Firewall, teaches it to choke off VPNs

Ammaross Danan

try this

My corp firewall does SSLVPN. Should try using it sometime. Might just fix your problem. Unless you deployed a substandard device....

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: No time to refactor

The worst part about QA, is how extensively have they QAd it? I've ran across loads of code that wouldn't have passed a proper desk-check, let alone unit testing. That's the code that needs to be touched.

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PGP, TrueCrypt-encrypted files CRACKED by £300 tool

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: Hibernation?

The option to do Whole-Disk Encryption in TrueCrypt will encrypt the hibernation file as well. You are required to enter your decryption key upon start-up/resume, where it then decrypts the boot volume (with the hibernation file) and then continues to boot as normal. So even Hibernation with whole-disk encryption is safe for TrueCrypt installs.

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Citrix XenServer 6.1 fires live VMs from cannon across servers

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: :)

Very much so here too. Storage XenMotion will be a great boon for us to shift VMs around when necessary.

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EU, US edge closer to mega-transatlantic patent system

Ammaross Danan

Re: Turns out Apple holds a patent on the idea

Apple doesnt have patents beforehand, they take existing tech and repatent them. Therefore, Apple is currently preparing to patent said combined system...on a capacitive device...with rounded corners.

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WD hopes biz barons will grab its new 4TB data tubs

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: Bit error rate

I think you missed the metric of these 4TB drives being 3.5" whereas your "60 drives in 4U" is for 2.5" drives....

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Scottish PhDs hoist kilt to reveal storage array killer

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: Limited use cases

"So it can't ever be quite as reliable as proper server-room storage with a proper backup strategy."

It isn't meant to be. It's for a small-biz of 6 workstations in Windows Workgroup mode needing shared storage. Setting up a workgroup share on the "boss's" computer isn't resilient enough. Buying a server with enough data storage is still going to be a single point of failure in an office where they likely can't even properly manage their own workstation failures. If you're reading this website, chances are you already exceed the mental capacity to run this software.

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Apple demands $707m more from Samsung

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: Apple is running out of ...

I'm just going to be laughing next year as the iPhone5 becomes so woefully behind the times (it already is behind [some] at launch this year), that even sales people have a hard time justifying selling it over an Android/WinPhone8 (yes, a WinPhone will be in the running by then, and may even be a better option than Apple BION). Frankly, I'm not surprised that even the people I know that rushed out to upgrade their 4S to the 5 lost that cold, mindless look in their eyes when they beheld the utter lack of change/function/feature in their new expensive gadget.

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Google to axe IE 8 support, cuts off Windows XP lifeline

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: Misleading as ever

So IE8 users on XP may or may not be able to use Google Docs or YouTube. Gmail may eventually stop working 100% properly. Google search? I bet they keep IE8 alive on that due to marketing considerations. Nothing will outright break day1 with this "change." It may just partially break a year down the road after some new feature comes out. You act like it has the finality of a due-date for Apple pulling an app from the App Store or something.

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Dropbox drops JavaScript, brews CoffeeScript

Ammaross Danan
Boffin

Re: developers will be developers

Last I checked, a line-by-line code audit actually helps to streamline code and fix bugs (especially if you have to interpret it into another programming language). Unfortunately, it can also cause bugs since the "streamlining" process may cause typo or logic errors while they're attempting to condense or fix code. So, it's likely a wash on the other end, or leans more toward bugs (as it's new, untested code whereas the old code was battle-hardened).

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Intel's chief chipman: '22nm better than expected, 14nm on track'

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: Gullible hacks...

It's been well demonstrated it was the poor choice in thermal compound under the heat spreader that made Ivy Bridge "run hot." Although, I must say that my IB i7 OCed to a modest 4.4Ghz has a 53.3*C (128*F) package temp, 37.2*C (99*F) core temp (according to AIDA64). On air (and no, not the turbine/jet engine kind). The cores don't generate much heat comparatively, it just gets bottle-necked getting through to the heat-spreader.

Oh, and 5% is actually closer to "3 to 15%" depending on your application.

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: Notes

@h4rm0ny: "Why on earth would you need a 720p screen on something that is 4"?"

I would actually like to see my webpages, not have some 500x100 header image or some such nonesense (register title image perhaps?) throw everything off the low-res screen TYVM. I suffered on a low res screen and it made web browsing terrible. 1280x800 gives a normal rendering so I can find what I need and move on with life. Not all of us are blind.

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Ammaross Danan
WTF?

Notes

So, they're calling the mini-dock a "Lightning" connector? Isn't this the same term AMD uses for their Thunderbolt-alike DisplayPort technology? I think someone may be getting sued shortly....

These spec lines read rather underwhelming. Not even a full 720p screen? Seriously? At least they finally got the camera to 8MP like all the Androids. The list of features they're enumerating to merit the "iOS6" tag sound more like the list of features you'd read about in Sense, Motion, or other GUI mods from manufacturers. Task switching, GUI overhaul, hardware-accelerated 3D, and SMP ALL TOGETHER may merit a full version bump, but being able to tweet from the notification pulldown and throwing a few app upgrades in merits iOS5->iOS6? Guess they're on the Firefox versioning system now: numbers for the sake of numbers.

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Humanity facing GLOBAL BACON SHORTAGE

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: AAAAARRRGGGHHHH!

All because of mandated ethanol and a bad yield year....

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Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Re: its rubbish

"Yep, same old UI. That one the customers love, and know how to use..."

Ignorant customers love it. Pull out an Android phone and show them homescreen widgets (such as your email inbox or your calendar) and they instantly go "wow! that would be great to have!" Sure, you can launch an App, perhaps have to wait for it to open/load depending on your iOS, but having it on the homescreen is very convenient. We'll see how long until Apple steals widgets like they did the notification pulldown...

The only valid point you give is the "know how to use." Swapping a UI in a major way (Ribbons, in your example, or the Not-Metro UI of Win8) is a major problem. However, the transition can be done, and it can sometimes be fairly painless. Look at how Android added a task manager in 3.0+. I'm not a big fan of the permanent black bar on their Tablets, but the phone execution of 4.0 tasks is flawless. Apple could do the same if they tried.

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SanDisk flogs strap-on to speed up your lazy Windows 7 PC

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Re: DoH

Just use the Intel Z77 caching feature. Does the same thing transparently.

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