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* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2044 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

BBC engineers see PLT knocking out DAB

Robert Carnegie
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If it's your own home then it's your choice (if not legally)

And DAB isn't so useful at home, because you can get most of the radio channels on your TV if you have one - or over the new RadioPlayer web site and your Internet PLT connection of course.

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Facebook photo-tagging trick used to lure emo kids to survey scam

Robert Carnegie
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How does "a worthless survey" earn money for the criminals?

If it's stealing public information, I can understand that.

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Android, Steve Jobs, and Apple's '90%' tablet share

Robert Carnegie
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Is Nuance's FlexT9 speech/handwriting input app an option for you?

Could fix one of your issues.

I wasn't convinced by the built-in speech control option, as it was described to me.

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AdBlock Plus man disputes Mozilla add-on tests

Robert Carnegie
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@heyrick if your PC isn't swapping what is it doing?

Look, just set up a minimal swap file even if you think you don't need one. Memory management gets passive-aggressive on you if it isn't there. I"m told that 300 MB on C is the minimum needed to allow crash dumps, but if you don't care about that, you can put the swap on a separate partitioned volume. Yes, an SSD probably will cycle all the unused "disk space" as your swap storage anyway, or else it won't and will use the same RAM over and of!ver again i!till it wears out. And then you just buy a new SSD and restore your backup.

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Embrace chaos, beat pirates... buy my book, says Mason

Robert Carnegie
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I think everyone was thinking that.

In other news, it's kind of the 40th anniversary of [Steal This Book], which probably had most of the same ideas - mostly minus computers - but quite a different idea of what to do about it all.

Thank you for stealing -this- book for me so that I could read the main points of it without, you know.

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Nvidia: 'old' tablet development kit won't get Android 3.0

Robert Carnegie
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Apparently you can't buy a software upgrade either,

except by buying a new device, of course. At least you can -buy- Windows 7 for your old PC.

Having said that, I agree with the opinion "Buyer beware - what you see is what you get, and no more."

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Gov denies special celeb NHS record treatment

Robert Carnegie
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Indeed

Ingenious Tory government scheme - if you're even slightly a public figure and you want reliable privacy in your portable medical and personal records, such as not having relative strangers show up at your home to express overwhelming love/hatred, or the News of the World getting your details from an underpaid computer clerk, then you have to pay for private care instead of using the NHS. And every time one of those celebrity-oids appears on television and mentions a health problem, they'll be talking about private care. Although occasionally they will be talking about a major cock-up such as the case of Denise Hendry. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-12790553

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HTC Android tablet priced up for Blighty's shoppers

Robert Carnegie
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FlexT9 is an app for writing,

don't know about Grafitti (or remember how many Fs and Ts to put in it, anyway you know what I mean). Also don't know if it works on Android 2.3 or 3.0.

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Can Bing ride IE and WinPho to Google triumph?

Robert Carnegie
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In other words, Bing is used by people who

don't know how to change the default settings on their computer.

(Not everyone can be an expert, but, still...)

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One-armed Maine residents whip out switchblades

Robert Carnegie
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Machine guns still fine,

depending on the state or city laws.

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Air Video 2.4.6

Robert Carnegie
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Re-reading what I just posted,

I haven't yet tried to play "Freeview" radio recordings on my tablet. That's more of a grey area than the video.

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Google juices Chrome OS with fondleslab smarts

Robert Carnegie
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You had me until

the words "nothing new". Ahem.

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Wind power: Even worse than you thought

Robert Carnegie
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I also

didn't read this article. El Reg's coverage of energy supply and climate is literally not worth my time, and I mention this only to ask that in future you simply don't cover these topics at all, to save me the mental effort of deciding not to read what you have to say about them.

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Nokia admits 'open' Symbian is not open

Robert Carnegie
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Open source minimally means

that the company's customers can view the software source code.

I don't exactly follow if they've got that.

But you're probably thinking of "copyleft" and "creative commons" and so forth.

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Canonical kills free Ubuntu CD program

Robert Carnegie
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Yeah, why -not- Ubuntu 10.11, 10.12, ...

But costing $$$ if they'd promised to mail you -every- new CD release.

Now, a lot of the fun went out of SystemRescueCD for me when the Windows PC I used it on spontaneously un-disabled media AutoRun and I discovered that SRCD came from somewhere in a range of IP addresses that got blacklisted by the Malwarebytes defence tool, and it is compiled by a French guy, although the first two matters are apparently coincidence. It -is- a relatively light live download and frequently updated, but not necessarily your top choice Linux desktop. And it's not the smallest, but that's a race to the bottom.

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Robert Carnegie
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So you get the CD where you get your hardware.

Plus remember there's probably a ton of patches to download after you install. (Is there an easy way to fill up on those?)

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The Sun still not shining on Nintendo's 3DS

Robert Carnegie
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I'm going to be vulgar again.

I assume that Nintendo recommends that new users should not play with this device for hours on end.

I assume that it is also recommended, perhaps implicitly, that you do not stick the device up your arse and get a friend to hammer it in with a mallet, and then (you, not the friend, particularly) eat a very large curry.

I don't say that I look forward to reading about the latter experiment in disregard of reason and manufacturer's recommendation, in The Sun, because I almost never touch the filthy thing, but I do almost peruade myself that it would be interesting to hear about, if not to hear close by, or see, or to be in the firing line of.

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Nokia floats out a collection of cool concepts

Robert Carnegie
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Silly. Which isn't always bad.

No-brainer is the breathalyser app for the mobile smellephone. Should also have a mode that tells you how many mints is enough to disguise the odour.

Wait, are you supposed to have two people with these phones and they can smell each other?

And you think the -other- concept phone is the kinky one?

These had better be... waterproof?

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Android smartphone

Robert Carnegie
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Bluetooth headphones are nice.

I have a Bluetooth dangle (wireless version of a dongle) with an ordinary headphone socket, and it didn't cost very much. Unfortunately it sounds like it too, the audio is very noisy if you're a purist. If you just want to shovel interesting noise into your ears then it does the job. Nexxus at Maplin (eww).

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Halifax cuts investment accounts off from the web until April 2012

Robert Carnegie
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You're SURE they didn't mean April 2011?

If so, then Wow.

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Judge flips $625.5m Apple patent payout

Robert Carnegie
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Heart

I think I get it

The patents are valid patents despite Apple's argument against them, but it is now found that Apple did not infringe them. I think. Or at least not to the extent of causing damage to you.

As for triple dipping, I think the point is, suppose I steal one of your patented ideas and I deprive you of a billion dollars of revenue, then you sue and I owe you a billion dollars. If I steal three of your patented ideas and I deprive you of a billion dollars of revenue, I still owe you a billion dollars - not three billion dollars. However, since each of your ideas A, B, C, may have its patent struck out by the court, you will be arguing, "He stole my idea A so he owes me a billion dollars, and he stole my idea B so he owes me a billion dollars, and he stole my idea C so he owes me a billion dollars." This is only triple dipping if you are demanding three billion dollars from me.

Breaching a patent isn't like breaking a window and paying for the cost of the glass: what countsis the injury done to you by all such acts added together.

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Wordpress backup vuln published

Robert Carnegie
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We're adults and we aren't amused by this.

"The input passed to the component wp_xml_export.php via the ‘wpabs’ variable allows the inclusion and execution of local or remote PHP files as long as a ‘_nonce’ value is known. The ‘_nonce’ value relies on a static constant which is not defined in the script meaning that it defaults to the value ‘822728c8d9’."

To my fellow readers: There isn't anything funny here, is there? Because you're a grownup, aren't you? Good.

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Floating Image

Robert Carnegie
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Those certainly aren't MY holiday snaps

And gently-bulgy-lady-in-bikini pictures are not suitable in most workplaces where both women and men are employed. They would be reasonable to show in a bikini shop, I suppose, or a sexy holiday travel agent.

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CTIA cites First Amendment protection of radiation levels

Robert Carnegie
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And the emissions of the hands-free kit?

Yes, Bluetooth is way lower power than the phone - but even so. (No, I don't really think so, but let's have the facts. Someone -may- make a dangerous cell phone one day. One 3G handset - metal - gets hot enough to cause a burn.)

I only guess, but I don't think freedom of speech applies because nobody is forced by law to sell phones. Those who choose to sell phones, are required to describe their radio energy output level.

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Mobile phones immobilise bones

Robert Carnegie
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Differences

Different ages, different lifestyles, different diet - if you don't get enough calcium then the natural process of creating and removing bone mass is biased towards bone removal. The young 'uns should drink more milk. Or something - I've been told to lay off saturated fat, so I don't see why anyone else should get to enjoy it.

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Chinese firm accused of mobile malware ruse

Robert Carnegie
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"a Chinese consumer rights programme on state-run TV"

Okay...

"Feiliu is designed to remove security products that might be present on the device, while making the operation of the phone sluggish and prone to crashes."

Is that all that it does? And doesn't it infringe Microsoft patents, e.g. Windows Phony 7, by doing that?

Although Apple invented "sluggish and prone to crashes" in the 1980s, starting with their "Lisa" computer.

Strangely, anything that's already been done on a computer, you can do on a phone and patent it all over again. This is called "innovation". You could patent skateboard wheels on a Samsung tablet - not sure about iPad, it isn't a phone...

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Ubuntu board rejects slippery Flash installs

Robert Carnegie
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A download suggested to be several days: pardon?

Hmm. 4 kilobytes per second was reasonably good speed on a phone MODEM connection. (Or maybe it was excessively good speed.) A CD image overburned full of compressed data, call it 700,000 kilobytes... well, about 48 and a half hours. Two days. I don't see how a torrent will be faster, though, but it may be more flexible about stopping and resuming.

I've only seen a DVD of Ubuntu as a computer magazine giveaway - a proprietary one, I think.

Of course, after installing the CD, you have to connect and download the post-release patches... do you? I've wondered about that, about getting a pre-patched CD. Apparently That's Not the Way. It does mean, however, that if you want to use it as live CD or live from USB stick, then you do so without patches. Or, can you install to the USB stick like a hard disk? I didn't try that.

I wondered long and hard where I was supposed to be buying the 750-800 MB CD-R that Moblin apparently required. Well, you could load the image onto DVD (if your software let you override media type) or onto a USB stick (which I'm never managed with SystemRescueCD). But the Moblin instructions said CD. Apparently, over-capacity CD-R actually exists, but with compatibility issues, and it's hard to find in stores in Glasgow. But what really happened, I think, is that the Moblin people stuffed more and more code into their ISO and just didn't notice that it didn't actually fit on a widely available CD format any more.

I also wondered how Knoppix is Linux but exclusive to a computer show and a magazine or two, i.e. non-open. I'd still like to know about all these things.

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NASA's Stardust set to 'burn to depletion'

Robert Carnegie
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Space is a skip?

"Nor are we out of it." You talk like the Hadean eon was something that happened to other people...

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Microsoft spends $7.5m on IP addresses

Robert Carnegie
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668, neighbour of the beast

Authorities differ (if that's what they are). I believe it's generally assumed amongst scholars that the bible number-of-the-beast is supposed to numerologically correspond to "EMPEROR NERO OF ROME" or something like that, but no one knows who for sure, but actually most likely him, although if so then subsequent events make Revelation look less like inspired prophecy and more like schizophrenic ravings. Funny, that. You know - I haven't knowingly corresponded online recently with any actual lunatics (and I don't go looking for them, except as see below for instance), but when I did from time to time, the people who have glowing shining eyes and are up to something were a recurring theme. Browse through Revelation? Check.

There are more exciteable views, such as, via Google: "Revelation 13:18 says 'the number of the Beast ... is the number of a man and his number is six hundred threescore and six.' 6+6+6=18, the number of letters in Barack Hussein Obama, who has represented Chicago's 60606 zip code."

Elsewhere I am told that the "English gematria" calculation, which I haven't tested, produces 666 from "Sarah L. Palin", which does however suggest that she doesn't turn out to be The Whore Of Babylon, anyway. I suspect the information is not offered seriously on this occasion, unless as a rebuttal of those pesky "Obama is the Beast from the Pit/the Sea" claims that just don't go away, birth certificate or not. (Hawaii? Hmm. Volcanic...)

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Robert Carnegie
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More sinister

Microsoft wants to own ALL THE IP ADDRESSES THERE ARE. There won't be an Internet any more, it'll be the Microsoftnet. Only Windows devices are allowed. It's a thought, eh?

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Asda slashes Samsung tablet price

Robert Carnegie
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Unhappy

Mine's on a neck cord, inside a book-cover binding.

The "book" - cover of an old diary - is duct-taped closed, and the Galaxy Tab is rubber-glued("Copydex"), duct-taped, and mount-taped onto it, with a hole previously cut forsthe camera and flash. Releasing the tape lets the Galaxy Tab hinge out into my hand, landscape angle - for convenient camera and video-player use. Android keys on the right. I can put Freeview TV recordings on it, although not easily, yet (any hints?) I could probably just use the camera to record the TV...

For a phone call: tricky, but I'm not a big phone user. It accepts a corded phone headset, or Bluetooth, and also ordinary headphone / earphones, and the built-in microphone pickup is in the book hinge in my case, which unfolds.

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Help - my desktop in the cloud has evaporated!

Robert Carnegie
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I get it

"If your salesmen and managers can't work on a Boeing 777 over the Atlantic, you're likely to hear some whining."

Really? I mean, really? Wouldn't they rather watch the movie? Whatever, ask them if they still have their earplugs, apply as directed to yourself.

"Cloud computing" as I understand it is dumb-client and the-network-is-the-computer, but outsourced; your data is served over the worldwide Internet and you don't have to choose, cas!re, or know where it actually is. Or, more realistically, you buy space inside a vast server hosting farm somewhere, and your business options probably include transferring the lot to a different hosting service whilst running effectively unchanged from your point of view.

For robustness or high availability, you may double up everything so that your business data resides on two or more such hosting services, independently, so that they don't break simultaneously. For instance, only one of the data centres is next to a nuclear power plant a short distance from the sea in Japan.

Yes, you rely on Internet access (and your electricity supply) to run your business, and so, yes, you make that extremely robust - with multiple ways to get to the Internet. Well, I'm assuming that your office is network-cabled as -well- as wi-if'ed and 3G'ed.

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Samsung dismisses too few tablets sold claim

Robert Carnegie
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I have one, I wear it on my chest,

are you saying I won't be the sexiest echnology user in the office any more? Darn!

(I really do! Wanna see?)

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Dutch courts: Wi-Fi 'hacking' is not a crime

Robert Carnegie
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Yes and no

A lot of people live on their own, and many don't have a lot of visitors, so their fixed network address, if it's secure - as it ought to be - will be used only by them.

Also, a service such as a bank MIGHT allow login only from one new!twork address, so that you can do banking at home. You'd still have a password and so on but those might be written down, if you're stupid. So cracking your home network could be a FACTOR in stealing your money.

Legal prosecution usually uses the standard of reasonable doubt. If you have a secure home network, there isn't much reasonable doubt that only you are using it. Therefore I expect to find, if I ask and if anybody wants to tell me, that terrorists and child abusers use insecure networks and insecure computers so that they can claim that whatever happened on their equipment may have been done by somebody else. Alleged music sharers have used the same defence. Ideological music sharers also may appreciate it as a way to share. You could hide old PCs with wi-fi near to public places for guerilla music sharing without going onto the Internet and getting caught. I suppose the same applies for terrorism and child abuse...

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Robert Carnegie
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As we already know, 4chan are ****s.

4chan are ****s; consequently, you can almost count on them to do the most ****ish thing that is reasonably possible in any situation.

If you leave your back door unlocked and 4chan see you do it, they will wait till you've gone and steal your TV - really this is an analogy for what they actually do, which is interfere with other people's computers.

If they see their best friend stealing your TV, they will shoot him in both legs and then call the police. And then probably steal the TV.

It's about being a ****. 4chan is a place set up online where people go to be ****s amongst like minded ****s. They are all ****s. It's what 4chan is about.

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Robert Carnegie
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It's a computery thingy, but,

This is a lot more like using somebody's phone without their permission.

It's the using it for illegal, reprehensible, or, say, defamatory purpose that already attracts penalties, usually. For instance, using somebody's own wireless router could be part of an impersonation or identity theft attack.

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Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

Robert Carnegie
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Actually, radiation around you all the time IS a natural thing.

You should know that. Don't you know that?

Yes. There's radioactivity around you right now. Even your body is actually loaded with isotope carbon-14, which gradually radiates. A thousand years from now, they'll be able to tell when you lived by the amount of carbon-14 remaining - or would be, if they knew whether you lived near a big natural source of radioactivity or not. Basically, radiocarbon dating actually doesn't work well on samples originating after 1950, and a bunch of twentieth century open-air nuclear bomb tests. Oh, and if you eat a lot of fish, it's relatively low in carbon-14, because C-14 comes from the sky, life in the sea is segregated from it. This is presented simply, but it's all true.

Some people like to say "There is no safe level" of radiation, which is probably also true and a pity, because you can't get away from the stuff. How concerned should you be? Well, you should be concerned whether the design of your house, old or new, allows radioactive radon gas and its successors to accumulate in your cellar or underfloor space. You may need to improve ventilation, or use concrete to seal the ground, if you're in a high-radon locale, which is often but not always found on granite, for instance, such as in Aberdeen, Scotland.

And you should be seriously resistant to anyone proposing to give you a lot more background radiation than your neighbourhood currently has.

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Robert Carnegie
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On Register environment coverage in general,

I'm taking the rarely offered opportunity to make a comment, and it is: I don't even read any of your environment/pollution/climate change/electric car coverage any more, when I recognise that that's what the story is, and it's irrelevant to the Reg's evident mission to explain information technology, and you might as well not even bother to write it.

Although I discover myself amongst (if this is passed) a long catalogue of reader comments, which, if not written by the Reg itself, contradict my hypothesis that most other readers have given up, too. So, if not, I ask: why not? You're allowed.

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Wi-Fi body wants hotspots to override 3G

Robert Carnegie
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Simple

Don't let your mobile device have the password for your home WPA2 wi-fi network. That is what you have... isn't it?

Secondary option, have two wi-fi networks at home, one of which is switched off most of the time and is the one that your mobile device knows about. Conv!ceivably, one wi-fi hub may support two networks.

Third, kill the wired home network and do all your business over 3G. I only use 3G internet now, on a Three contract. But I'm not a huge video viewer.

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Firefox 4 debuts: The last kitchen sink release

Robert Carnegie
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Why do you want a 64 bits browser on Windows?

Unless you're opening 3 or 4 gigabytes of web pages, a 32-bit program should be fine. I'm genuinely curious what you want to do with a juggernaut gigabrowser.

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Apple sues Amazon over 'App Store' name

Robert Carnegie
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Prior GUI

Not only was VisiCalc, as I say, the apparent origin of "killer app", and Lotus 1-2-3 the second of them, Wikipedia declares that "VisiOn" was the first GUI for PC, probably easier to look up as project name "Quasar". A hyperlinked PDF business school document about What Went Wrong states that VisiOn was released in December 1983, late, by which time you could buy an Apple Lisa or let Microsoft tell you about Windows 1.0, which seems to be credited with inspired the term "vaporware" (I'm not sure about that) because it didn't arrive till over a year later. VisiOn also seems to have beaten GEM to your PC screen by around six months(?), and probably mainly or exclusively ran VisiCorp programs - but I'm sure they'd have opened an app store if things were different.

Hands up who wasn't born yet then. I was, I'm in my forties. I even used some of this stuff, but not VisiCorp products. Amstrad PCs, or some of them, came with GEM.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re print too small

Re print in the legal documents being too small - it's the fucking law, retards. Legal documents must meet a useability standard. It's probably also an accessibility issue. I suppose they don't accept crayon or invisible ink either.

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Robert Carnegie
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Cutesy abbreviations can be trademarked,

but I would judge that the term "app" for software appears earlier in the common expression "killer app", meaning the software product or use for a particular computer platform that is a must-have, and that gets that computer platform chosen before others. The VisiCalc spreadsheet was the first "killer app" according to a reference quoted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visicalc , and it was a product initially for Apple II computers but not owned by them, although it may be by now. But then Lotus 1-2-3 was the better spreadsheet that was the killer app for IBM PCs (VisiCalc was also released for PCs), and I don't think anyone complained at the time that the term "app" was misappropriated - or, not with much success.

But I'm -not- a judge - which may be just as well overall, but in this particular case, I wish I was.

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Supercomputer charts killer tsunami's course

Robert Carnegie
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Tuvalu

According to http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/mar/18/preparing-for-tsunami-tuvalu "The tsunami did not hit Tuvalu this time" - which I don't understand - although the population were evacuated intto shelters. I suspect the article is scientifically illil!terate.

http://www.gmagazine.com.au/features/2459/tuvalus-king-tides which might be an unsafe link in various ways, describes "annual king tides" that "flooded much of the island" in February - I suppose every February, but I'm not sure that the science is right in that one either.

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Protect online retail, says eBay

Robert Carnegie
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So resale price maintenance is illegal? Like prostitution?

If the offence that suppliers were committing against online retailers was to demand that they, the suppliers, be given the use of whores as part of the deal, then that six per cent of retailers are frequently asked to do this, and a further nineteen per cent only occasionally, would look dirtier. If one in four retailers is either occasionally or frequently propositioned - although we don't know if they actually do it, if they said so then they'd be incriminating themselves.

And of course the analogy is absurd - actually the suppliers are screwing the customers.

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Microsoft sues trio over Androidian book reader

Robert Carnegie
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For Microsoft, the SCO lawsuit didn't go wrong.

The SCO lawsuit went right. Sitting on a relatively small pile of Microsoft investment, which I think Microsoft even got back, SCO frightened businesses away from using Linux for whole years, and it's still working today. For Microsoft, that's money very well not-spent.

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Interwebs stunned by musical atrocity

Robert Carnegie
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Does being famous for fifteen minutes qualify you for Wikipedia?

Anyway if the condition of entry is to be "not able", then......

I still haven't heard this song. I agree that it isn't dignified for adults to sneer at children.

The radio version of [Dead Ringers] once had a sketch that imagined Anne Robinson from the [Weakest Link] game show judging the pictures her children had drawn that day at primary school and dismissing "The Weakest Child" from the family. The message was that it's a horrible thing to do.

Then again, many years ago, possibly on the [Red Dwarf] writers' radio show [Son of Cliché], there was a sketch of an archaeologist viciously verbally ripping apart cave paintings, that at the time I thought I was brilliant. "This is cack. This is worse than that Egyptian cack..."

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Robert Carnegie
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I haven't heard it.

But I'm quite worried about the new series of [Russell Howard's Good News], on BBC Three.

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Homefront

Robert Carnegie
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Not the Chinese then (they buy video games)

Barbecue lamb, yum...

Anyway, one "Yellow Peril" is much the same as another. Why are Americans all paranoid, it must be the drugs.

A vast number of them are terrified of The United Nations taking their country over. I will tell you the real secret about The United Nations: it doesn't exist. Think about it. There are however many countries in the world, most of them send people to stand and talk in a big building in New York City which is supposed to belong to The United Nations Organization, but that's ALL THAT THERE IS. Outside that building there's no United Nations. And inside it there's nothing but talk, by people who are not agents or officers of the United Nations, they are just visiting.

Does that make you wonder exactly who just told us it was okay to have a war (again)? It should.

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Microsoft+IE9: Holier than Apple open web convert?

Robert Carnegie
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Precisely

"HTML 5M" ahoy. M for Microsoft.

Yes, they brilliantly locked in customers who develop in-house web sites into Internet Explorer 6 - so successfully that those customers aren't able to use Internet Explorer 7 or 8, or at least not without so much research and tweaking of newer IE's compatibility settings that they don't see a business case for doing it. Until they get hacked and annihilated by giggling Chinese dope fiends.

And by golly, if Microsoft can do it again, they will.

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