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* Posts by VinceH

1153 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

VinceH
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Re: wait until a few days after teh renewal date

The problem is if something happens before you do that (late) renewal - for example, if you're in an accident. At that point, you have been driving the vehicle illegally, even if you intended to renew the following day (or even later that same day).

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VinceH
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"Reminds me of the tax-deadline when online filing came in. Everyone tried to do it on the last day. Don't. Do it before that. Your teacher wouldn't have accepted the excuse back in school."

Or when the same happened with VAT - with the last date for submitting returns being 7 days after the old end of month deadline.

Back near the start, I tried to submit a return for a client the day before the new deadline, and the server wasn't coping with the load - so I printed the error pages. Being kicked out when the office closed, I decided to take the figures home and submit from there - but my internet connection was down, and service wasn't restored until it was too late.

Unsurprisingly, teacher - in this case HMRC - didn't accept the excuse, and hit the company with a charge.

The subsequent tribunal, on the other hand, took an entirely different view, and described the situation as ludicrous - IIRC, the wording went something along the lines of "It's ludicrous that they are unable to predict and cope with the demand, and then fine the registrant for being unable to submit returns as a result."

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter one jot if you can apply (or, in the case of tax/VAT returns, submit) one day, one week, two weeks, four weeks, whatever period before the deadline. The deadline is the deadline, and you are perfectly at liberty to leave it until then - and if their service can't cope, it's their fault, not yours.

Although, as you say, teacher UKGov won't accept that as an excuse - possibly unless, as in my example, they are legally challenged. At which point, if it's a big enough cock up, they'll just legislate in their favour.

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VinceH
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Re: I concur

"You can renew your car tax for up to 4 weeks before the renewal date, so there is no excuse for leaving it till the last day."

How about people who don't have the money to pay for it until the last day?

Or people who are human, and do crazy stuff like forget?

FTR, I forgot - until I read this. (But luckily, my car will be parked on a driveway for another week). I shall [try to] deal with it now.

Edit: And now it's done.

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

VinceH
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Re: Life support systems is actually going to be pretty neat

""Windows could not find a pulse. Please wait while we search for a solution online..."

Sounds like the ideal time to bring back the annoying paperclip.

"You appear to have died. Would you like some help with that?"

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NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

VinceH
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That's not a set of traffic lights. It's the end of a Martian Sand-Octopus's tentacle.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

VinceH
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Trollface

Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

"I love the way Apples denial machine is going overboard, such as this "only 9 complaints so far" malarkey."

Hmm...

"With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus."

...because the other iPhones that have bent ceased working altogether, and their owners had to use a different phone to contact us.

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VinceH
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Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

"The Slate article appears to be about some idiot who badly faked a video of bending the thing with his own hands."

Did he, though?

Yes, there are some time discrepancies in that video - but there also appear to be two iPhone boxes on the table to the right (his left) in some shots.

What may have happened is that after bending the first, and filming himself before and after talking about it, he then bent another to film the actual bending sequence - which would have resulted in the discrepancies. He probably didn't bother adjusting the time to avoid continuity errors because he wasn't making a Hollywood blockbuster.

Or just didn't think of doing it.

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

VinceH
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Curtains

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Alien gimp gag or cosmic golf ball? NASA tackles question everyone's asking

VinceH
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Who gives a damn about a silly little ball? I'm more interested in the Martian Sand-Shark whose dorsal fin is clearly visible breaking the surface to the left and up a bit - and whether or not it's equipped with frikkin' lasers.

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Apple 'Genius': iPhone 6? We've had NO COMPLAINTS about our BENDY iThing

VinceH
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"Even if another phone made of different materials survives the test does not mean it's a reasonable test."

Quite. Now look back at the part where I referred to his 'test' and note the apostrophes around the word.

It's not a reasonable test because it's not representative of the stresses the phone will be put through in the real world - he's applied a much larger amount of force than the phone would normally receive, just to see if it will bend, rather than to see if it will bend under normal circumstances.

However, the reason I pointed it out is because of what the previous AC (assuming you are not the same one) said:

> take any similar phone and put it under that much stress and it's likely to crack

The Samsung tested is a similar form factor - [troll] after all, it's a phone from the manufacturer Apple are trying to copy[/troll] - and it didn't crack. In fact, it regained its original shape.

It may not have been made of the same material, but ISTR he specifically pointed out the different material, and that it may have been a factor in the Samsung phone returning to its original shape.

And also:

> I'm surprised the glass did not break/pop off TBH.

(So am I, actually)

The iPhone's glass did crack - when he tried to straighten it, as mentioned at the start of the follow-up video.

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VinceH
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"Yeah right as if that is reasonable - take any similar phone and put it under that much stress and it's likely to crack - I'm surprised the glass did not break / pop off TBH."

You might want to watch the full video - and, given your comment about what might happen to a similar phone, the follow-up video as well, for one example of just that.

It's worth noting that the iPhone 6 had a minor bend in it already, before he started his 'test'.

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EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

VinceH
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Re: Gold standard available

"That's what the man said, and he's right.

The internet is a bigger place, and getting IFL right becomes an infinitely Hard problem as the cruft accumulates. Besides, your IFL "correct" is not mine. We're different."

Yes, but Google does its very best to know we're different, and your "I'm Feeling Lucky" result is likely to be different from mine for the same search term. At least that's the theory, with Google's ongoing mission to try to identify, track and profile every person on the planet.

Where it falls down, of course, is with people like me allowing Google to only store session cookies (because of those occasions I need to log in - otherwise it'd be no cookies at all), along with running script blockers, etc. But people like me (and I suspect you) probably form a minority - so while for us, then, your nay-saying of its ability may be true, for the majority it probably isn't.

However...

"So yeah, that feature will get more and more useless, then be removed."

Do you know what? I thought it already had been removed as part of Google's ongoing policy to take away things that people do actually find useful.

But I've just looked - it's still there.

However, in a way they have taken it away - because as soon as you type anything into the search box, the search becomes active (which has been the case for a long time - I can't remember offhand if they've called this active search, or live search, or something like that) and the IFL button disappears.

The only time it can be clicked, AFAICS, is before you've entered anything in the search box - which pretty much makes it useless already, by default. (Here it just takes me straight to Google's Doodles page, every time).

How silly is that?

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VinceH
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Re: Gold standard available

"That's silly. There is no company in the world which is capable of that. Not even Google."

Huh?

You appear to be saying that there is no company in the world - not even Google - which is capable of raising " use of IFL to the level it was in [Google's] first years as compliance metric."

So Google aren't capable of making "I'm Feeling Lucky" as good as Google once made it?

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Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

VinceH
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"Quite why Russia has its sights set on the Moon, 45 years after Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind, isn't clear [...] A Moon base is within easy reach, though not as exciting as a Mars HQ."

Neil Armstrong, and those who followed him, stayed on the Moon for a comparatively short amount of time. What nobody has done is something you stated earlier in the article:

"The head of President Putin's space agency has confirmed it will build a new rocket to reach Earth's natural satellite – first occupied by the US in 1969 – and set up permanent encampments in the next 20 years."

Nobody has done that yet. We've had people spending a fairly long time in space, but not on another body. I'd posit that if you're thinking about setting up a permanent or semi-permanent base on another body, something that hasn't been done before, the sensible thing would be to do it on the closest one before going further afield.

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Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

VinceH
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Black Helicopters

"Construction has begun on the next major submarine cable, which when it's completed in 2016 will provide a big increase in capacity between South-East Asia and Europe."

Bidding now open for tapping...

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Galaxy Note 4 latest: Samsung rushes iPhone 6 Plus rival to China as Apple flails in dark

VinceH
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Duh! Withdrew my previous post, which was obviously the result of not enough coffee yet.

For some reason I read your post as saying the Note 4 was only 4.7 inches.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

VinceH
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Re: I agree

"But it looks like it would be bloody good to use"

And uncomfortable to hold, with the bottom corner pressing into the heel of your thumb. Rounded corners - as we usually get - are very beneficial there.

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VinceH
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Judging by the general feel of the comments above, I'll probably get downvoted for this - but I think it's fugly.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

VinceH
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Re: Thanks again....

"..for another broderline troll article that is fantastic for gently joshing my Apple-loving chums."

It almost makes me wish I was still on Facebook*. One thing I particularly enjoyed on Facebook was linking to pieces like this, specifically to bring it to the attention of my two Apple-loving brothers.

* Almost.

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Tripadvisor site coughs to card data breach for a potential 800k users

VinceH
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Re: aw man

Try naming the file 'pictureofanakedlady.jpeg' - that way you'll thwart a lot of potential breaches simply because some people will be using systems behind filters to block out naughty things. Top tip.

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Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights

VinceH
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Re: Something missing in this article

I suspect there's a little more to it than that. From the linked article:

"Mr Buckworth said a neighbouring passenger told a flight attendant: "Look what he's writing." "I turned to him and said, 'Yes, look what I'm writing. Read the whole sentence. I'm just writing some notes.' "

What's not explained is the tone of that retort - it may have come across as snappy, or angry - or if there was any further exchange (and there almost certainly will have been) between that point, and the point where he was being escorted off the plane, of which the guy explained:

""My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane. I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.'"

So, yeah, I think he was probably removed from the flight for what happened and/or was said after the other passenger remarked to the flight attendant about what he was writing - details of which he has chosen not to share - rather than for what he'd written.

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Your location info is too revealing: data boffins

VinceH
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Joke

Re: Targeted Advertising location info

It's possible that may be triggered not by tracking your location, but your viewing habits. :p

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

VinceH
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Re: Really? - @daldred

Indeed. Thanks for seeking out that - more meaninful - information, daldred.

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VinceH
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Re: Samsung's Business model

The $6.1B profit must be after the $14B is accounted for, or it wouldn't be a $6.1B profit - it would be a $7.9B loss.

Though the way Andrew phrased that part of the article didn't quite read correctly to me - it seems to read that a $6.1B profit is only enough to cover a $14B marketing budget, which seems to be suggesting the $14B somehow comes out of the $6.1B.

I don't know - perhaps numbers work in a different, magical way beyond a certain point. Or maybe there's a variation on Hollywood accounting at play. Or copyright maths.

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Reg bloke zips through an iPHONE 6 queue from ZERO to 60 SECONDS

VinceH
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Re: Oh, do report back on the experience

"[Only one downvote so far for coming out on el Reg as a day 1 iPhone purchaser? Whatever are things coming to....?]"

You may be a day one iPhone purchaser, and you may have openly admitted to being a sucker for the Apple hype - but in spite of all that, you still took a more reasoned and sensible approach to buying the product, rather than quamp* to get the new shiny. I suspect that may be a big factor in the lack of downvotes.

* Quamp. I just made that up as a portmanteau word to mean to queue and camp, which is what the real suckers do. Quamping for the new iToy.

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Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

VinceH
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Re: Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

"nobody has tried lettuce to stop nosebleeds. Or tomatoes."

I am reasonably sure that under some circumstances lettuce can indeed stop tomatoes.

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Ten years on, TEN PER CENT of retailers aren't obeying CAN-SPAM

VinceH
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Like I said - a malformed hand. Not only does it have fingernails where there should be none (and none where there should be one), the hand also appears to have an extra finger (the thumb would normally be folded in behind the hand), so you'd 'see' three folded fingers, and one extended: it needs to be a 2-1-1 (or 1-1-2) pattern for the folded/extended fingers, depending which hand is being represented.

Mine's the anorak.

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VinceH
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I is clever, I is. ;)

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VinceH
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"I wish I could say that. I was doing OK until I got to "iilii". How do you pronounce that?"

I'd guess it's supposed to be a representation of sticking a middle finger up - on a malformed hand.

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Google Apple grapple brings crypto cop block to Android

VinceH
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Re: All well and good...

>"So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

"Meaning that if the Government have the phone, Apple can't get the data off... But if the phone is still in the possession of the owner, then it is - presumably - completely technically feasible to slurp anything off it by pushing something to the phone and have it run once unlocked."

You're overthinking it. The answer is more likely just as Lost all faith said. In all likelihood the statement specifically refers to devices in their possession because the same data in Apple's iCloud can be provided if a warrant requests it. Which, as you rightly point out, isn't the same as having access to the servers, so they can deny that as well.

Therefore, Apple are saying to fanbois everywhere, "Take off those tinfoil hats. They don't look trendy, hip, cool or, least of all, beautiful, and we'd rather not have our phones seen in public with people wearing such garments." Or something.

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Register journo battles Sydney iPHONE queue, FONDLES BIG 'UN

VinceH
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Re: >a plot to pull a random citizen from the streets, murder them by beheading

"an android^H^H^H^H^Harrow."

an anarrow ?

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Microsoft's axeman Nadella fills baskets with 2,100 fresh heads

VinceH
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Re: It took 18,000 employees to remove a start menu

"Poor taste, that's a lot of families going to have a harder Christmas this year."

My heart goes out to anyone who receives a Windows 8 device this Christmas, and finds it hard going due to the lack of a start menu.

Even poorer taste, I know.

But irresistible, nonetheless.

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iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!

VinceH
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Trollface

Given how bad Apple Maps was, and they released it anyway, I dread to think just how bad this is if they've decided to hold it back.

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WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

VinceH
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"You can also hide by pressing the screen."

Wait! What?

Apple's justWatch comes with a personal cloaking device? Or is this a feature only brought to the device with this seedy app?

If it's the latter, then perhaps they need to rethink the purpose and selling points of their app!

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First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

VinceH
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Re: Fill up yer memory

> "Fill up yer memory"

"That's hardly a practical idea now is it?"

Okay, try holding it wrong.

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Credit card cutting flaw could have killed EVERY AD on Twitter

VinceH
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Re: He Got Too Much

The problem is that there are people who do actually say "of" instead of "have" or "'ve" - I hear it often. And they are definitely saying "of" - it's not me mishearing them. I suspect the origins lie further up the line where they've heard people saying "should've" etc, and actually thought they were saying "should of" etc, and that then gets repeated and offspring/other family members pick up on it and perpetuate it further.

So when someone writes "should of" instead of "should've" - it might not be that they can't spell, instead it might be that they actually think it should be "should of", and actually say it that way.

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Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

VinceH
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Re: Predictable authentication codes?

Yes, I think I've noticed that with the devices issued by HSBC. (I have three for three distinct account set ups).

The three devices don't all generate the same code at the same time, though, so there is some other element involved - but I'm pretty sure I've seen the same code repeated on the same one when accessing the accounts at the same time on different days.

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Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS

VinceH
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+1 for the documentary.

Released on DVD or Blu-Ray, it'd be something else we can purchase to put money in El Reg's piggy bank, so we can watch at our leisure.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

VinceH
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@Vince

"Oh god. Not the start menu back again. I hope I can choose to keep the modern interface."

Comments like yours scare me.

Because I see your name and worry that people will think it's me making the comment.

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

VinceH
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Re: I know where there's one you can buy

"Gone in a blitz!"

Nice. It's a shame, though, that you weren't replying to someone called Craig - because then you could have said:

"See? Gone in a blitz, Craig."

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Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen

VinceH
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Pint

Re: When it comes to landing...

Just suggesting the Lunar Lander game as their console display deserves an upvote.

Pointing the way to an online version? I've just upvoted another post from you, because I can't give you two upvotes on this post!

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

VinceH
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Re: Rough translation

Close.

What I expect Apple is planning are pretty much TV-sized iPads - essentially TVs, but which run iOS (and can therefore run iOS apps, etc).

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Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach

VinceH
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Joke

Re: Great

No - play cunning, and instead of increasing it by one, go for a half, and make it hunter2.5 - that'll fool 'em.

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Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

VinceH
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Re: My Genius solution: You read it here first (Hands off Apple!)

Unfortunately, Apple are already ahead of you on that one - their patent application seems to be for using the forward facing camera (which would only work if the phone is held at a suitable angle), but other than that, they've thought of it.

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

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VinceH
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Joke

Re: Alternative Suggestion

"It's jerks like you who MAKE people want to escape the real world!"

I wonder if there's an app for that?

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Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

VinceH
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Alien

Re: Geological Sources

"No, Sir, given the distance, I'm afraid on this occasion we won't be able to honour the policy of the pizza being free if not delivered in 30 minutes."

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

VinceH
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Re: Security?

"So the first thing a thief does is find your router and unplug it."

By the time the thief has found my router and unplugged it, images from the cameras of the thief will have already been sent; hopefully they'll include his face unless he's sensible enough to wear a mask.

And if he does wear a mask, all I can say is that no security is perfect. The only way I can improve on that is to replace the cameras with automated sentries that will open fire when they detect a scene change. But I believe that would be slightly illegal.

"Some local recording is surely required as a back up."

And he could unplug that just as easily as he could unplug my router. In both cases, some images will have been captured prior to that - the difference is that with the local storage, those images are stored locally, on a device that the burglar could steal and I might therefore never see and therefore be able to hand over to plod. With the emailed images, they end up where ever I am when I receive those emails - and I do get to see them and hand them over to plod.

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VinceH
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Re: Security?

"Given a lot of, probably the majority of, these cameras have a history of really shit security and unpatched firmware, you might want to consider some 3rd party method of limiting which devices can connect in to your home network via the camera's exposed interface.

Indeed. I have a couple of fairly cheap, crap IP cameras (indoor ones) that feature a simple web-based interface which could be accessed from afar for remote viewing if I set my network up to allow it - but given that they're probably a potential security hole leading straight into my network, I don't.

Instead, I choose to reduce the chance of someone using them to break in electronically, and at the same time solve this problem:

Also important if you are worried about burglary is having a recording of the images on something that won't get nicked by the thief, so it has to be pretty well hidden or to store images off-site, a potentially expensive aspect."

The cameras are set to only take photographs when a scene changes, and those photographs are emailed to me. FTP to a remote server is also an option - and would use less bandwidth - but in the event of a burglary, email means I'll know something has happened much sooner - perhaps even while it's happening*.

* Unless I'm on holiday, when I tend to favour places where I have little or no network access. Or, indeed, just off for a walk somewhere suitably remote. Oh well.

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Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say

VinceH
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Re: I'm not in opposition to Apple's fee.

Everybody who accepts plastic payment MUST pay a high % of the sale to the processor and the credit company.

[...]

If given the freedom to pay in cash without penalty, I would ditch plastic and go to cash to save a few %...

Don't kid yourself that paying in cash doesn't also involve paying a fee. A lot of the cash a business receives will get banked and, here in the UK at least (and I'd imagine elsewhere), most banks charge a small percentage on business accounts for paying in cash. It may not be as much as the fees charged for handling plastic, but it's still a fee nonetheless.

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