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* Posts by Dexter

71 posts • joined 16 Oct 2009

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Dexter
Unhappy

Why no lyrics?

Why has nobody added sleeve notes to iTunes?

You can get the album art, and display it on the screen.

Is it really beyond the wit of man to display some text? Maybe display the lyrics, too?

When I buy a record or CD it generally has useful stuff on there (like who is playing what instrument, when the song was recorded, that sort of thing). When I download, nada; no context. It is the musical equivalent of getting somewhere by SatNav; you get there but have no clue how.

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

Dexter

The main use for my iPod is to sit in its Bose dock at home and act as my main music library - it contains all the CDs, LPs and tapes which used to clutter up the shelves.

A mobile phone is no use for this - you can't use it for other things while it is sitting in a dock on the shelf; or if I've gone out and taken the phone with me then nobody else can play music.

Seems to me a phone is only good as a music player if you just listen to music yourself over headphones, which I do basically never.

There is still a use for a dedicated music player. Anyway, the iPod (Classic) still works fine.

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Dexter

Re: Imagined use case?

Having occasionally had to use AZERTY (as opposed to QWERTY) keyboards while in France, and indeed QWERTZ keyboards in Germany, I can attest to the fact that it causes constant irritation.

Most of the keys are in the same place, but just enough are not to cause brain-ache.

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Tesla, Nissan, BMW mull all-for-plug, plug-for-all electrocar charger plan

Dexter
Happy

Reply Icon

" but how many 120kW outlets can you install without your own sub-station?"

Never mind the sub-station, that's easy and cheap (certainly in the same league of cost as installing a petrol station's tanks). The problem is that the distribution network wasn't designed for this sort of additional load, so you need to reinforce your connection to the transmission system, and that tends to be expensive.

-----------------------------

Just install a petrol or diesel powered generator at the filling station. Plenty of fuel there to power it as needed. Problem solved!

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Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Dexter

Re: complexity and obsequiousness

As someone from the Pascal and then VB camp (and SQL), I still prefer Begins and Ends over harder to see spidery litte { } things. Personal preference I know, but it's easier to see with my eyes.

-------------------------

#define begin {

#define end }

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The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

Dexter

I sold my Palm IIIx (complete with fold-up keyboard) on e-bay last year.

Still working fine after 12 years of heavy use.

It sold for not very much, but I thought it better to let someone who wanted it have it than chuck it in the bin.

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New secure OS will put Tails between NSA's legs

Dexter

Wasn't TOR originally designed by DARPA (i.e. the US Govt)?

So I'm sure the NSA is well aware of how to track TOR stuff if it wants to.

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'Dads from the Midwest' pull down their email-spaffing LinkedIn plugin

Dexter
Devil

LinkedIn seems to be just a massive spam magnet. I've no idea why anyone would want to be on it.

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Tor Project claims 'fake' Tor Browser sat in iOS App Store for months

Dexter

Re: To all the paranoid sheeple.

Yeah, everyone knows the NSA hide their stuff in Flappy Bird and other free games.

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Google slurps sound-powered security upstart SlickLogin

Dexter
FAIL

So now if someone steals your phone they can use it to log in securely to your laptop?

Excellent.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

Dexter

Re: 98.2% of Android devices run old OS versions

Even Nexus devices don't always help. I have a Galaxy Nexus which has Bluetooth LE.

I've upgraded it to Android 4.3, which has Bluetooth LE support.

Can I use Bluetooth LE? No, I can't because the kernel on the phone doesn't have a BLE driver, and Samsung say they won't release an updated kernel.

Possibly a custom kernel would fix that, but my experience with custom kernels has been bad - phone dead or refusing to boot.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20

Dexter
Thumb Down

I'm running a new-ish Fedora but I got fed up with Gnome a while back and just use xfce, which is nice and simple and doesn't get in the way at all. Just like Gnome used to be, in fact

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

Dexter
WTF?

Am I the only one astounded that 61% of the population has Sat Navs?

Whatever is wrong with maps and road signs?

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Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

Dexter

Re: Retro, Meh

Re: Retro, Meh

Retro is good because it looks nice. If you don't like retro looks, don't buy it.

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Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

Dexter

My work laptop, which runs Windows XP takes 20 *minutes* from switch on to Outlook being usable..

Thank god they are killing XP; maybe I'll get anew laptop at last.

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Google faces fresh privacy gripes for splashing your G+ mug over ads

Dexter

My G+ profile photo is a very nice shot of one of my cats.

He's much better looking than me anyway.

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Google in PRODUCT RECALL for its Glass spy-goggles

Dexter
Facepalm

@AC

have you ever tried taking a call whilst skiing down a mountain?

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Why would I answer the phone when I'm skiing?

You don't *have* to answer the phone, you know.

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Sorry fanbois, no supersize Apple fondleslabs for you

Dexter

The dogs bark

but the caravan moves on

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Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Dexter

Re: Parallax??

The effect is the same on an iPhone, just much less noticeable because of the smaller screen.

What I don't like in iOS7 are the new spindly fonts, which I find harder to read.

Changing font sizes and setting 'use bold' in settings doesn't seem to affect most apps.

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Douglas Adams was RIGHT! TINY ALIENS are invading Earth, say boffins

Dexter

Re: Now...

Mars doesn't have life now, but was more hospitable to life a few billion years ago, when it still had a thick atmosphere and liquid water on the surface.

It's likely to have been hospitable to life before Earth was, so entirely reasonable that life could have been carried here from Mars.

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Dexter

Re: No wonder

You missed out

lough (as loch)

rough (as ruff)

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Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Dexter
Holmes

I thought if you wanted to send crypto keys secretly you used the old Greek system:

1. Shave head (of slave in Greek case, but hey, anyone will do)

2. Tattoo the key onto scalp (maybe just a permanent marker would do in this day and age)

3. Wait a week or two for hair to grow.

4. Off you go. Searches find nothing

5. Get to other end, shave head, et voila.

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ZTE's $80 Firefox OS mobe sells out on eBay

Dexter

Re: I give up...

That's how it works in the UK.

In the US many mobiles seem to be locked to a particular carrier, so you can't just buy any old SIM.

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Tech war latest: Today's leather tools 'invented by NEANDERTHALS'

Dexter
IT Angle

Re: Absurd opinion alert

And you "know" this how?

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How the clammy claws of Novell NetWare were torn from today's networks

Dexter

One nifty feature of Netware, which I always wish had made it into Linux, was the extension of the '.' and '..' system, so you could type '...' to go up two levels instead of '../..'.

It was a small thing, but it was nice.

Netware also had pretty heavily optimised disk access with head elevator seeking and all that jazz.

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Standard Model goes PEAR-SHAPED in CERN experiment

Dexter

Do we know that anti-matter responds to gravity the same as matter?

I seem to recall someone was trying to test that, but of course it is very hard with the tiny amounts of anti-matter we can make.

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Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

Dexter
Windows

It's not bespoke software which is the problem.

It is badly written old software which non-one understands any more but which only works on XP for whatever arcane reason.

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Are the PCs all getting a bit old at your office? You're not alone

Dexter

Re: No push to upgrade business machines anymore

Indeed, my work laptop still runs Windows XP. Still works fine once it gets going (it takes 20 minutes to boot up but that's mainly due to corporate bloatware - if I boot it away from work it is quite quick).

I guess all that has happened is that PCs have been fast enough for any business purpose for the last 5 years or so, so there is no need to upgrade unless one breaks.

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Curiosity succeeds – Mars was wet enough for life!

Dexter
Devil

Re: I think you're on to something there

And then in a few million years time the mutant Martian super-cats will come back and enslave us.

Giving cats space craft and robotics is madness; it is only their lack of opposable thumbs which stops them taking over.

I don't think this has been thought through properly

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Soak up CO2 with sponges, says CSIRO

Dexter
Stop

How much CO2 does it take to manufacture the wonder sponge in the first place?

It may have to absorb a lot of CO2 before it is actually carbon neutral.

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Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

Dexter
WTF?

I thought a 'matte' was something to do with backgrounds in films. 'matt' is the opposite of 'gloss' surely.

It's matt paint I buy - not matte, which I guess would be used for painting cinematic backgrounds.

Or is this a UK/US thing?

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Japanese cops cuff cat carrying remote control virus

Dexter
Unhappy

No picture?

Why is there no picture of the cat? I think that's the least we could have expected.

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Stroustrup on next-gen C++: I didn't want to let go of my baby

Dexter

The idea that C++ is not suitable for embedded systems is a myth.

C++ code isn't any bulkier or slower than C code. In fact I've seen plenty of C code which ends up longer because it can't use things like virtual functions.

Of course some features of C++ (notably exception handling and use of the STL) can cause code to bulk up.

But you don't *have* to use those features; you'd certainly not use the STL for embedded code.

Exceptions if done correctly (obviously depends on compiler/.code generator) should cause no overhead at all if the exception doesn't fire. If it does fire, you've got a stack unwind to handle, with its associated destructor calls, but that's not much worse than setjmp/longjmp

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Ten technology FAILS

Dexter

Re: Just threw out

Just sold my old Palm IIIx, complete with folding full-size keyboard, after 12 years faithful service - still working fine, but I no longer had any computers with an old-fashioned RS232 interface to sync with, and the desktop software would only run on my old machines. Palms were very good machines.

Replaced with an iPod Touch, which is an excellent (and under-rated) PDA.

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Dexter

Re: Hmmmmm

And the reason 8 track failed was because of its short usable life... I'm old enough to remember trees on the side of the road draped in long gossamer strands of Dark Side of the Moon after someone's 8 track ate yet another tape. While 8 tracks were more convenient, cassettes were a lot more reliable.

--------------

You can record stuff onto cassettes; 8 tracks were read-only.

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Facebook warehousing 180 PETABYTES of data a year

Dexter

How is Corona different from YARN? Or better?

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A bitter spill to swallow, or 'how to smeg up your keyboard'

Dexter

Am I the only one who hasn't split something all over their keyboard?

I did once manage to submerge a laptop in water due to stalling my car half way across a ford; it never recovered, but astonishingly HP replaced it under warranty.

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20 years of GSM digital mobile phones

Dexter

Does there exist a smart phone with a decent battery life?

By decent I mean more than 24 hours of occasional use.

I've yet to see a smart phone which lasts longer than about 8 hours.

My (non-smart) Nokia lasts 3-4 days if used for calls, about a week if not.

That's not quite as good as the older monochrome Nokia I used to have, but it is good enough.

Until smart phones can last the length of a business trip without needing a recharge, they are not up to the job, IMO.

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We don’t talk any more... on the commute

Dexter

Re: “Is this the train to Faversham?”

"I've never dared go that far"

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Underdone iTunes put back in oven for another month

Dexter
Black Helicopters

iTunes is fine in the Mac, and always has been.

I have to wonder; is the crappy performance on Windows a deliberate Apple policy to sell more Macs?

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Samsung says 'yes' to iPhone 5-sized Galaxy S III

Dexter
Coat

Am I the only person left on the planet who uses a mobile phone for making phone calls and talking to people, rather than texting, surfing the web, using twitter and facebook?

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'Immortal cancer' found in Australia

Dexter

Michael H F Wilkinson wrote:

I have this image of an ageing, degenerating brain, and a mind bereft of all joy, in a perfectly healthy body, which stubbornly refuses to die.

--------------------

You've been watching the X factor, haven't you?

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Thanks ever so much Java, for that biz-wide rootkit infection

Dexter
Unhappy

It's all very well saying "this was fixed in Windows 7 years ago".

I work for a company where we still have to use Windows XP (and IE for many intranet things).

And as usual, to get useful stuff done on XP, you need admin privileges.

Many people don't get a choice.

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Dexter
Thumb Up

Robots!

This thing is ideal for driving Lego or Meccano robots.

What could be more educational that terrorising the cat with a home-made robot?

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Softphones strangled by smartphone battery life

Dexter
FAIL

Yes, Soft Phones can and do slow down your PC.

The Cisco Soft Phone is absolute rubbish.

Takes ages to start up, eats memory on your computer and slows it down, and crashes.

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Third European supply podule blasts off en route to space station

Dexter
Mushroom

Re: I dispair

In the case of the Russians, you certainly get more bang for your buck.

How many failed launches have they had recently?

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So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Dexter

Anything with lots of CGI in it. Sadly this is about 50% of films now, and quite a lot of TV.

(Lord of the Rings, Avatar, any modern disaster movie, any modern TV program about dinosaurs).

I don't want to sit in the cinema and watch a video game, thanks, and CGI animation always looks terrible, IMO.

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Warp drives are PLANET KILLERS, Sydney Uni students find

Dexter
FAIL

every GPS enabled mobile phone contains a relativity corrector to ensure it takes into account the time difference between the ground and satellite

---------------------------

This isn't true; the relativistic correction to the clocks is done in the satellites - the clocks are set so as to compensate for relativity, so when they are observed from the ground, they appear to be running at the correct rate.

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ICANN snubs critics, opens domain extension floodgates

Dexter

Oooh. Can I apply for .c0m ?

Looks just like a .com address to most people, but I can put my SpamBots there. Excellent.

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Shale gas: If we've got it, flaunt it

Dexter
IT Angle

Fracking

There's a good, fairly balanced article in the latest Scientific American.

It's not the fracking itself which causes problems - the wells can leak (causing methane or nasty chemicals to get into water supplies), and the tanks which are used to store the waste fluid can overflow or leak, contaminating water supplies.

It's probably no worse than mining for the environment; but mining doesn't have a great record.

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