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* Posts by heyrick

2352 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder

heyrick
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FAIL

Retarded camera

While not wishing to get into the debate about whether or not a front-facing camera is necessary, I note that the rear camera cannot do HD video, cannot autofocus... What is this, 2008?

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Boffins run iOS apps on Android hardware

heyrick
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"Diplomatic functions leverage per-thread personas,"

Seriously? A boffin wrote that?

The world IS going to hell.

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Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors

heyrick
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"Do you really think they would be interested in you? Are you really that important to them?"

In a word - YES.

I may be a boring forty year old that watches animé and writes crappy programs for a passtime...

...but that could be a cover for my exciting secret life as an Al Qaeda operative plotting to blow up the Eiffel tower just, cos, that's what terrorists do.

I get the impression that the NSA isn't looking to follow people of interest, but rather looking to discard those who are obviously not of interest. Which means hacking personal routers provides just as much value as those of companies.

Not a/c, there's no point...

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

heyrick
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Re: Bah!

[the operator's final transcript reads as follows]

The number of outcomes you are requesting is very high. Are you sure you want to ask that, Dave?

Yes!

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

What? Just work out the flight plans for this plane.

I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

It's your job. It's what the taxpayer paid $2.5bn for!

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

Just plot the options for this goddamn plane! NOW!

Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

Whaadaya mean this convers....argh! aaaaargh! <Fzzzzzt!> <Thunk!>

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heyrick
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FAIL

Who writes this rubbish?

Given that the machine is an automated method of managing tin cans packed with squishy humans hurtling through the sky - surely any anomaly should be kicked to a human operator (they claim the system was back up and running in 46 minutes so there were people around to respond...). This must be better than gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit-gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit-gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit-gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit-gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit-gotta-deal-with-it-oh-shit[repeat until dead].

After all - which is the WORSE option? To temporarily pretend one anomaly aircraft isn't there while signalling a human, or to get into a state where effectively "no planes exist any more".

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Mae Microsoft yn addysgu Swyddfa, Bing, siarad Cymraeg*

heyrick
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Re: The main point to remember here is...

A roll?

None of this trendy roll-with-a-hole nonsense, just a good solid roll.

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

heyrick
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Zip discs

I have some old zip discs. I even have a Zip drive that was working when I last used it, and another I acquired along the way as a spare.

What I don't have, however, is a parallel port...

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Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

heyrick
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Re: amazon can suck my pee pee

I can't help but think that Amazon and the US patent cowboys should crack open a Dorling Kindersley book or two. Photos against white backgrounds? Check. Check. Check. Checkeddy-check-check. So much prior art, this will only stand to make money for lawyers.

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Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point

heyrick
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"Side A plays from the inside out"

How is that going to work? Many of the record players that I have seen in my life would retract the stylus and switch off when it reaches the inner end.

As for playing inside the label, I just looked at my turntable [*] and I don't think it is capable of swinging the arm in that far - again, the automatic disengage mechanism.

* - I can hook it up to the computer but I don't as it sounds terrible. Does anything (Audacity?) have a free RIAA plugin to correct the raw sound from the record?

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Cold War spy aircraft CRASHED Los Angeles' air traffic control

heyrick
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Re: Sulk?

A lovely piece of fail-safe coding for a life-critical application, don't you think?

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Boffins tag Android app privacy fails

heyrick
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Android devices store wifi passwords in the cloud

By DEFAULT.

Thankfully you can turn this off, but I suspect that many will discover this AFTER their small measures of security have been horribly and intentionally compromised; and remember, Google is a US company. No such thing as privacy there, their legal system makes that extremely clear time and again.

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Today's bugs have BRANDS? Be still my bleeding heart [logo]

heyrick
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Re: Once again

Mmm, I code in C. Didn't really take to C++, but that's probably not a surprise since I also write stuff in ARM assembler.

I'm not certain that the issue is that C is inherently bad (certainly other things are better) as much as clueless/lazy programmers making the same fundamental mistakes, such as using strcpy() with no idea if the source string is larger than the destination buffer. There exists a call in the standard library - strncpy() so this bug should never happen....yet it does. Rinse and repeat for dozens of other "oh my god, not that again" failures to validate input / allocate memory / reuse pointers / etc.

Once upon a time good software used to be supplied in a mask programmed ROM. While quirks/bugs still occurred, getting that wrong could break a company. So a lot of testing went into making sure the program was solid and did what it was supposed to do. Now? There is less impetus to get it right the first time. From downloadable patches to FlashROM updates, instead a company can "be the first" to get whatever rubbish they have created out the door. There's no time for proper testing, there's no time for a code review, you gotta be joking if you think we're going to resolve all these dumb compiler warnings, we have a half-working half-assed implementation and management has promised the world that the product will ship on Friday. And so it will. At least...something will ship on Friday...

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10 PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : GOTO 10

heyrick
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Happy

BBC BASIC FTW

PROC, FN, could write entire programs without a single GOTO/GOSUB in sight, decent graphics, built in 6502 assembler...

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All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke

heyrick
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the Y chromosome is essential for male viability

Well obviously. If it was another X, you'd be female...

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Shut up, Siri, I'm watching telly! iOS 7.1 code reveals new role for Apple's PA

heyrick
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If I was involved in Apple's dev dept...

...I'd periodically introduce new magic values (that might never actually be used) just to screw with the fanboys.

Imagine all the wet underwear if two new device IDs turned up! Or a new display size value. Or...

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Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER

heyrick
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Re: Pixel wars

"The fact that you bought a model without GPS is hardly Apples fault,"

Bloody fanboys. I don't specifically WANT to have GPS. I'd just like a location services that I can say "I am here". It can get a location from an AP, but there is no obvious way to associate an AP with a location. Why am I repeating myself? It is this hard for you?

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heyrick
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Re: Yup, as usual Apple were first with an earth-shattering innovation.

"Functionality and usefulness come from imagining a use-case for the device." - in the immortal words of The Biscuit: Oh balls! Move on..

Do you remember the golden era of PC gaming where the games dictated the specs of the PC? It wasn't a use-case so much as the machines needing to adapt to support the demands put upon it.

Likewise mobile phones and tablets. Once upon a time it was perfectly acceptable to record video in 640x480. Now a device is not worth considering if it can't do 720P (and an inability to do that much also points at an inadequate processor giving a generally poorer experience). Soon, we will think phones are retarded if they can't cope with 1080P video recording/playback. It isn't up to the designer to pick cute little use cases. It is up to the designer to imagine a device that is capable enough to sell and cheap enough to build that the company will turn some profit on it; while "protecting" the brand image by not seeming rubbish and dated. In this respect, and looking at the dpis of some phones from Samsung and Sony, I don't really believe that Apple had any option other than to switch to Retina. A near 10" display offering only 1024x768 is going to be poor in comparison to the competition. Apple is big on making itself out to be an innovator, therefore it was essential to up the display quality.

Like you, I wonder why we are pushing >5mpix in a sensor the size of a lentil. Surely it is time to start considering making larger sensors? People will probably baulk at the idea of a camera lens the size of a euro coin. That's fine. Just show them the sort of photos it can take... ;-)

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heyrick
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Re: Pixel wars

"In fact whenever I've needed a picture from my phone I just go to iCloud.com and download a copy from there, no transfer required from the phone because it's already been done." - oh, yippee! There goes my data allowance. Not to mention my content being punted to servers hosted in a crazy regime.

That said, bouncing a file off the cloud is not so different to emailing it to yourself. Neither is a real substitute for the device doing what you expect it to do.

"Well done you for thinking of something the iPhone can't do," - actually it was an iPad, but same difference. It is iOS. Oh, and it didn't take much effort. I'll give you another example for free. WiFi only iPad, rural location, nobody I know has an iPhone. How do I get my iPad to "recognise" my location from the MAC address of the AP so it knows where I am? The short answer is "you can't". There is some convoluted secret method that iPhones use to associate APs with GPS locations and send that information back to Apple. If you don't have a GPS enabled device, and no others to use instead, and live too far away from reality that a passing car with an iPhone won't pick up your AP... you are stuffed. Don't even bother replying on this point, I have a log of the discussion with Apple support that pretty much confirms this. Hence, I don't tend to use Siri much, it's useless asking what the weather is when she isn't even capable of associating the "home" address of the owner to a location.

There. That wasn't hard, was it? ;-)

"but the example I gave was one where the only alternative open to many Android phones is to replace the phone." - what? I'm sorry. What? Please tell me how I can add NFC and WiFi 802.11n to a first generation iPhone? Oh, you can't. You need to replace it. How about an iPhone 3? Nope? Gotta replace that? Maybe an iPhone 4? Well, that does the faster WiFi but still no NFC. iPhone 5? Um... Not there either.

You know, it's pretty much like my Bluetooth file send problem. The Android alternative of buying a new phone is at least an option. At the moment, there's no point looking for a new iThingy. It (any type currently available) won't send (or receive) files via Bluetooth. And it (any type currently available) doesn't do NFC. No point looking for alternatives that do. None exist.

"and it seems only Apple are willing to leave things out on purpose while any feature lacking in the Android world is on the to-do list regardless of it's merit." - there are numerous features lacking in Android that have not been sorted in years. Take, for instance, proper sane in-line quoting in emails. None of my phones (one Motorola and two Sony) have an email client that is up to much. One can't count how many messages are outstanding. One periodically gets confused and marks everything as unread. One gives up all attempts to fetch mail at the slightest hiccup (and out rural with patchy coverage, hiccups happen - God forbid Google think a phone might experience reception difficulties and need to retry!). By contrast, the email client in iOS is sublime. Proper quoting, in-line. Attachments that make sense. A reader that is reasonably capable and not crashy-crashy. In fact, the only bug I experience is the "On blah, blah said:" line in a reply is itself indented as a quote. Small bug, when you compare the generally shitty experience that is Android's email.

That said - you can extol all the virtues of Apple's bold daring epic awesome decisions not to do stuff, but if I need to find ways around these, then these are not great design decisions, they are limitations.

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heyrick
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Re: Pixel wars

"As I have said twice, they added Bluetooth 4LE support"

Whoo.

How about a Bluetooth, any Bluetooth, that can send a photo to a non-Apple device? If I want to Bluetooth a file to a PC, I email it to my Android phone and send it from that because the iPad just refuses to talk to anything I have except a Bluetooth speaker...

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heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Pixel wars

Downvote for this: "They worked out what you can store in 16GB or 32GB and decided it was generally unnecessary to go bigger,"

Writing this on a 16GB iPad Mini. My "Other" storage allocation is around 3.5GB (using Apple GB, not anything that resembles GB as I understand them) with no obvious way to clear it out other than wipe everything off and start again.

My various apps accumulate tens/hundreds of megabytes of rubbish that can only be cleared by removing then reinstallng the app. Several apps have a "clear cache" or "remove files" option, which would be good if it removed everything, but it doesn't.

I get why the file system is locked down and the apps run in their own private space, but with no super user option (on the iPad or within iTunes) to allow you to go in and delete the (obviously many) unnecessary files lingering around, it is - frankly - a rubbish implementation. I will in the coming months (when it bothers me enough) have to "reinstate" my iPad from scratch. All to snatch back some storage (total? at least 25%!) that the OS steals and uses/loses.

To my mind this is on par with Microsoft in the '90s. Windows screwed up? Just reformat and reinstall.

No, that is not a solution. That's an ugly fix.

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Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit

heyrick
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"maliciously crafted applications can execute arbitrary code outside the sandbox"

That's dangerously close to an admission that iThingies can suffer viruses as being pwned...

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SAVE THE EARTH... give all your iThings back to us, begs Apple

heyrick
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Can't see this working except for delusional f**kwits

I mean, really, have you seen the prices older Apple kit fetches on eBay and the like? If you want to be all cuddly-green, then "recycle" it there. Keep to a realistic price (look up others just like yours, see what they're fetching) and it ought to shift. And, hey, guess what. No cool Apple gift cards, just cold hard cash in your bank account.

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Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?

heyrick
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Already there...

Big electricity bill following winter, four tyres for the car, road worthiness test plus stuff it needs fixed, blah blah blah. My food budget isn't much more than that proposed by the challenge. The secret? Cook your own stuff instead of spaffing a tenner on processed ready meals...

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Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker

heyrick
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FAIL

called other peoples husbands "cunts".

FAIL to everybody who said that.

Men can be many things, but I'm pretty sure "cunt" is not a valid option. At least, not without some eye-watering surgery.

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

heyrick
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Re: Waitwhat?

I think some middle management people went out and had a party when XP reached its final end-of-life date. One of them suggested bringing to an end anything else that is annoying or difficult. Expect soon, everything to be ended. Hey, presto, no more support problems or compatibility issues!

Oh, that version of Windows we just released? We don't support that these days...

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

heyrick
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I used an online scanner on some of the sites that I visit - because I don't necessarily trust them to come clean about what they were using and if it is/was vulnerable...

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

heyrick
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"if you call an employee on Saturday, that employee gets paid double-time and for a minimum of 1 hour - even if the call was for 5 minutes." - the real world rarely works like that.

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

heyrick
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Re: This comment is totall Bullsh--!

I'm running XP on a netbook. Never saw a need to upgrade as XP does what I want, and more specifically certain hardware does not have drivers for newer versions of Windows. I plan to keep with XP until the machine reaches the end of its life, and if situations force my hand, I'll drop a light Unix distro on it. My hardware works with XP only, so there's no specific reason to stick with MS on a replacement...

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Win XP security deadline: Biz bods MUST protect user data – ICO

heyrick
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FAIL

Dear ICO

What is your official position on companies hosting their data on cloud setups, especially those that fall under American jurisdiction?

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Mad Raspberry Pi boffins ripped out its BRAINS and SHRANK them for your pleasure

heyrick
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Thinking in the future...

"using contemporary components and with an up-to-date specification?" - because more up to date hardware comes with a price tag somewhat above that of the Pi?

I note that the core module and the base together will cost a bit more than a regular Pi (possibly near twice as much) while offering the capabilities of a Model A with a heap of additional I/O. While this on its own is nice for people wanting to play with lots of I/O, it is also useful to break away from the association that "a Pi costs this much". In a while, when we can expect a Pi-with-bells to cost a little more than the requisite $35, they might release the Pi "Master" which will cost maybe $65 or so and contain a more up to date multi-core ARM and 1GB, etc etc. And, of course, I would expect the option of a Pi "Master Compact" to be the same sort of thing in this SO-DIMM form factor. ;-) [the hard part will, of course, be making the I/O of completely different devices match up in some sort of sane way!]

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

heyrick
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Re: @Def - So, let me get this right...

"The issue is whether the kernel should be patched to recognise this stream of garbage and cut it off, or whether systemd (which is the newcomer here) should be patched to stop creating the garbage in the first place."

The kernel needs to be fixed, otherwise you have a nice easy way a userland process can give the appearance of bringing down the machine.

[this doesn't mean systemd was not faulty - but the kernel shouldn't choke so easily]

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Intel's DIY MinnowBoard goes Max: More oomph for half the price

heyrick
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Re: "enough grunt to take on tasks that would leave the Pi panting in exhaustion"

No, I'm comparing a crappy old Atom with an old ARM core clocked considerably slower and pointing out that there is more to the equation than the illusion of raw power.

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heyrick
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"enough grunt to take on tasks that would leave the Pi panting in exhaustion"

The amusing thing is my eeePC901. Atom, not exactly two cores but not exactly single core. Can be clocked to 1.8GHz. Can play middling bitrate 720P and HD XviD without too much struggle so long as you don't mind the fan kicking in as the temperature shoots through the roof. Higher bitrate 720P is when it starts to struggle. And 1080P is when you get a frame or two per second if you are lucky. Fluid playback at 1080P? Never managed that. [SMPlayer and VLC under WinXPSP3 with CPU speed cranked up as high as it'll go using the built-in hotkey]

The Pi, on the other hand. Running RaspBMC, clocking the ARM at 800MHz. It just does it. And doesn't even heat up, even with no heatsink or anything.

So raw grunt is less important than what you do with that grunt. There's no question the Minnowboard will trounce a Pi, given those specs, but I suspect that in some areas the difference may be less than one might imagine.

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That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

heyrick
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Re: The kickback is coming-

"More and more forums are rejecting gmail and other free email services as a legitimate method of sign up."

Catch 22.

I use a free disposable account on forums because I don't trust them to keep my details private. Some do, some don't, so my private email stays exactly that - private.

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Chinese patent app tries to own Wine on ARM

heyrick
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Don't you have to INVENT something?

See title.

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UK cops: Keep yer golden doubloons, ad folk. Yon websites belong ta PIRATES

heyrick
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No, because they might have to involve an actual legal process in order to get entire websites blocked.

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

heyrick
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Weird strawman argument

"If you bought a good old fashioned dead tree book written in English, would you expect to be able to translate it into a dead tree version in French for free?" - a book, translated into another language, is not the same thing. Derivative, perhaps, but not identical.

Converting format is a technical thing. What you end up with is supposed to be the same. It's like with video - you record something on your phone and then you can make it an MKV, an MP4, an AVI, etc etc but the end result should be a copy of what was recorded. Translating an ebook is like getting some people to re-enact the video and recording that.

Or to put it a little differently - it's more like taking a book, tearing the cover off, gluing a new cover on it, then placing it on a bookshelf in a different room. The location and outside have changed. What's inside is still the same.

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ISPs CAN be ordered to police pirates by blocking sites, says ECJ

heyrick
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Re: pirated content

"dont let your cherished offspring anywhere near the dvd player or it will get very expensive!"

Bugger 'em and copy it anyway.

I rip all the DVDs that I buy. For two reasons - the first, the convenience to watch the content on a tablet. The second? Necessity. Modern Macrovision plays hell with my ancient television so it is literally impossible to watch most films released since around 2004ish without ripping to XviD and getting the DVD player to play the de-Macrovisioned XviD.

Against the law? I could have sworn the law might have said something about defective merchandise...

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Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

heyrick
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Happy

"you are just making the chipset push more pixels around in the name of spurious bragging rights."

Umm... Isn't that why many people buy these devices?

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This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

heyrick
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I'm running XP on a netbook. Have no intention of upgrading as I do not expect that small machine with its undersized SSDs would cope very well with Win8.x and there is the question of compatibility - I'm not dumb enough to think my ancient video capture USB device (that I use as a surrogate TV) will magically work with the new system. Probably the same for various software packages.

So it occurs to me. Replacing my computer will not only be a large expenditure, it will also be a mammoth upheaval. Sort of like transitioning to a completely new setup.

In which case... Do I really need to go to Windows 8.x? I have "played" briefly in various showrooms and didn't like how it looked and felt and, fine, I don't expect supermarket staff to have much of a clue about setting these things up, but it occurs to me that I can just pick up a cheapish PC and drop some version of Linux on it.

Maybe this is why Microsoft is worried? As an XP holdout, I didn't feel the need to upgrade to every new version of Windows, and their removing XP support is not going to change the fact. Indeed, with little spare cash and a machine that works perfectly well, my options and choices - when upgrade time comes - extend far beyond Redmond.

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Google slams Play Store password window shut after sueball hits

heyrick
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Facepalm

"checking every little detail on things like in-app purchases" - but surely the entire point of being a parent is to check as many details as you can and take responsibility for things if you don't? Any sensible parent wouldn't tell a child the PIN to a credit card, or give a child the keys to the car, or... you get the idea. There have been enough high profile stories about in-app purchases going horribly wrong that even my mother (a card carrying technophobe) has heard about it. So, it's just another thing a parent should check. Or accept responsibility for failing to check.

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

heyrick
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Re: Great headline! re: prices

@ Sarah:

We have a small supermarket in a local town. It is about the size of a Spar in the UK and is part of a national chain. The prices are about 20% higher for, well, everything that doesn't have a price printed on the box.

I think they are working on the "captive audience" concept, public transport in rural France is limited and expensive, and towns around here are not close to each other so it will cost in petrol to go any distance for a better deal. So they mark up the prices because a sufficient number of people (still) put up with it.

PS: You still get milk in pints? Over here it is about €1,10 a litre and the farmers are saying that's too little, so god knows how viable it is for your farmers. Problem is if the model is unsustainable, the low prices will cause suppliers to jack it in, which means less supply which means prices will rise. Everything needs to be reasonable and in balance. Messing up one part of the chain for a short term gain will cause problems in the long term. As you noted - a big supermarket moves in with lower prices, and the older shops in town die off...

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heyrick
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The catalogue was awesome

I remember the Maplin catalogues of the mid '80s with their hardcore sci-fi covers and a wealth of information inside covering things as diverse as TV tuning from all known transmitters to pin outs of all the logic chips you're likely to want to use, resistor colour codes... There were no repeats, everything was listed only once, and the information inside made it worth it's weight in gold. I spent weekends in dormitory flipping through to pages absorbing as much as I could.

I really miss the old Maplin catalogues...

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

heyrick
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Re: TWO shots?!

Double tap, to make certain it is dead...

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That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

heyrick
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WTF?

"Everyone knows the NSA can legally eavesdrop on foreigners outside US soil"

Really? Legally? I was under the impression that it is "okay" under American law....which pretty much doesn't count if you are conducting your activities in a country that isn't America. [their choosing to ignore local jurisdictions doesn't make it legal]

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

"with a crime rate >1%, unemployment >3%"

< != >

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Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

heyrick
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it's not readily apparent what it's capable of doing

How about an "erase your phone if stolen" feature? When does a useful feature become a weakness? If it can be exploited? If so, isn't this true of pretty much anything?

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Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Dancing keyboard

"I'm afraid I took all my UI design classes long before the current generation of touchscreen soft keyboards so none of my textbooks would address this case specifically."

I see. So you are taking a UI design principle that you know is outdated and are trying to apply it to a modern UI because it supports what may be the only on-screen keyboard UI element that behaves in this manner?

Next you'll be telling me that underlining incorrectly spelled words is a known terrible UI decision (...because somebody will have to come along later with an eraser and rub out all the underlines).

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heyrick
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Not quite right...

"By default iOS only keeps the most recent 50 (?) emails in any given folder so there's absolutely no need to delete anything."

Personal, private, POP3 mailbox. Sent folder held on iPad.

Currently 0 unread messages.

Open private mail, "Sent" folder. Tap "Edit", then "Mark all", then "Mark as unread".

152 unread messages.

You were saying?

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