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* Posts by heyrick

2375 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

heyrick
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Re: Sharp comment

This is a hash - # (horizontal lines flat, vertical lines tilted to the right)

This is a sharp - ♯ (0x266F; horizontal lines tilted upwards, vertical lines straight)

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

heyrick
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The A1400 gets pretty hot charging an iPad Mini, but this is hardly a surprise given that we have 230VAC going in one end and 5VDC at 1A coming out the other. It has the dual distinctions of being both the smallest USB output charger I own, and also the most powerful (by about 400mA). At the moment it is running a RaspberryPi (and is only just 'warm').

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Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft

heyrick
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WTF?

Hmm...

Was farting around with GTA3:Liberty on my PS2 the other day (no, I'm not a gamer...) and I don't remember an option to change the protagonist to be female. Indeed, it's a fixed storyline so I don't think you can be anybody else at all.

Some games support lots of customisation, others don't.

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207 thousand lights-out boxes are STILL hackable

heyrick
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What I worry about with home routers

Mine is running the latest firmware. It dates from 2012. God knows how old the kernel actually is, but I'd reckon a few vulns have been discovered since then. And don't talk about my little DLink hub. It is old enough that it is firewalled from the internet using physical means.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

heyrick
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Man passing himself of as being knowledgeable in the field makes fundamental mistake

There, fixed that for you.

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

heyrick
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Happy

I don't mind fixing computers for "free"

I'm nice like that. Plus most of the ex-pats around here prefer somebody that speaks the same language.

But there is a catch. I do a paid full time job. This claims rather a lot of my life. Accordingly, I value the time that I have left. Specifically to the tune of 85 euros per hour (or part of an hour). Which counts from the moment I leave my house. I also state that I will ask you to sign a form to state that the fault that I was asked to fix has been resolved, and that your computer appears to be functioning correctly. This is to dissuade people from saying "you were the last person to mess with it!", somebody pulled that crap on me and went rather quiet when I ran a little VB app I threw together ages ago that prints out every file created after a given date. Oh look, your little tyke has been installing random crap on your machine and you are trying to pass it off as MY fault to get free support? Nope, not falling for that line again.

So. There's the deal. Eighty five hourly, with a signed form at the end.

I seem to be somewhat less in demand now. Oh well, I guess Bob's cousin's uncle's friend will have to do it instead. Can't say it bothers me much. I can waste my time writing messages on forums instead.

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Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

heyrick
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Re: OMG Mirrors!

@ frank ly: don't worry, the bear will use it to wipe with...

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Linux users at risk as ANOTHER critical GnuTLS bug found

heyrick
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Re: How severe is this bug?

True, I rather suspect IE6 was simply a pile of interacting bugs that sort of approximated a browser. Thing is, though, that Internet Explorer is not critical to the functioning of the internet, and while I have not seen every router ever made, I've seen enough that do not run anything Windows.

As for the zero days being fixed quickly - this is good to know but it is only useful for those of you with desktop machines and server class machines. Who is going to patch flaws in Liveboxes and Home Hubs? Who is going to issue firmware updates for WiFi bridges and all these little gadgets that are basically an ARM or MIPS-like SoC with a small Linux on FlashROM?

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heyrick
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Re: How severe is this bug?

So what you are saying is that "Linux is free and if parts of it suck, too bad, go fix it yourself"?

Given these systems are deployed in what may be some fundamentally important parts of the Internet (hands up if your ADSL box/router isn't running some hack-job mashing up a cut-down Debian with Busybox), do you think that it is unreasonable to expect that the security side of things be a little higher standard than "too bad, it's free, what do you expect?".

Oh, and as for the "fix it yourself" comments. Grow up. The number of people that can fiddle with a piece of code to fix a bug or two? Many. The number of people who understand said code well enough to fix an issue without subtly breaking a dozen other things? Considerably fewer. This is, of course, assuming that somebody with sufficient experience is willing to audit these changes before committing them, because if not...well, wouldn't that just be the mother of all nightmares.

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'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

heyrick
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Re: Can't help thinking

"the concerned citizen who reported it being prosecuted for wasting police time." ... while the mechanics making the joke go directly to jail for years with no chance of parole because...

...examples MUST be set. People having a laugh without the required permits and debriefing? This sort of subversion must be nipped in the bud.

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Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

heyrick
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Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

If you code your parser decently, it can be YYYY<symbol>MM<symbol>DD and then you can use whatever as a separator. YYYY.MM.DD anybody? ;-)

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heyrick
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Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

I prefer YYYY/MM/DD - gets rid of annoying ambiguities and is easily sortable without much brain power (should these noodles go behind or in front of this other pack?).

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

heyrick
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Let's see...

An Archimedes A310 with Arthur 1.2 ROMs. An Acorn Teletext Adaptor in a world where teletext barely exists any more (and the German channels that do exist use different character set and later styling than the ancient SAA5050 can cope with). Several dozenhundred ßetamax tapes (no working player). A bunch of DC6150 archive tapes (streamer is where?). Parts of a dead Camcorder that I might one day wire up to some sort of microcontroller...

,,,you get where this is going. All of it is junk today but it may be exactly what I am looking for tomorrow!

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Using email? Text messages? Congrats, you're in the 'underbelly of dark social sharing'

heyrick
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Stop

Yeah, but...

Just wait until "free" email services, or emails sent via a low-cost domain host, start containing embedded advertising that might be even longer than those idiotic disclaimers you see from time to time.

Of course, the choice of said advert(s) was absolutely totally NOT based upon scanning the content of the message and looking at the known "preferences" of the recipient based upon past messages. Oh no, not all all. Honest!

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

heyrick
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When I buy a DVD...

...I own the DVD. I can play it as often as I like on all compatible equipment. I can (dubious legality) rip it to something else like XviD and watch it on everything else; with no worry about slow internet speeds or dodgy WiFi that struggles to pass solid stone walls or... Let's not even talk about how I can pay full price for various streaming services, but receive an extremely reduced selection because of so-called licensing issues. Or even how I can watch that DVD I bought fifteen years ago any time I want. How long do videos "purchased" in streaming services remain available for?

It may be that ditching DVDs and streaming is good for the planet. For me, however, streaming is full of problems.

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Apple wheels out sueball cannon, again

heyrick
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Apple is now arguing that the jury was mis-directed in the matter of damages.

Of course the people that didn't think the payout was enough will whinge that the payout wasn't enough. Duh.

But for Apple to now say that the jury was "misdirected", is this not essentially contempt?

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EBay, you keep using the word 'SECURITY'. I do not think it means what you think it means

heyrick
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Megaphone

I think that Ebay should offer compensation to all 145 million customers

I don't want "compensation".

One derisory little token payment and then the matter is considered closed?

No.

I expect nothing less than for eBay, for a period no less than the validity of the data, to resolve - at their expense - any abnormality that may have arisen as a result of the leak of this information (directly into the hands of criminals, I should add - this information was taken with a purpose in mind).

Of course, the onus is upon eBay to have to prove that they are not culpable, per instance, not the other way around.

That is what we require. Not "compensation".

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heyrick
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Re: eBay.fr

They informed me at seven o'clock this morning...

"Voici les informations dont nous disposons : cette attaque s'est produite entre la fin février et le début mars, et s'est traduite par un accès non autorisé à une base de données des utilisateurs eBay contenant les pseudos, mots de passe cryptés, adresses e-mail, adresses postales, numéros de téléphone et dates de naissance de nos membres." - they stop short of pointing out the seriousness of what this actually means. As my mobile number is unlisted, if I suddenly find myself drowning in spam texts, I fully trust that eBay will meet all costs incurred in changing my number; not to mention sorting out the cancellation of any services that other people might sign me up to on the basis of this information (there is enough there to get a person subscribed to SMS services that are charged €€€ per text sent). Thankfully I think the French banking system is too tightly regulated for loans to be granted based purely upon this, though other countries may be somewhat less careful.

I guess the main question now is not so much what went wrong at eBay, but more - what happens now with regards this information.

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heyrick
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Re: A rant, and a question (the question's at the end)

Changed password yesterday evening without a hitch. Maybe their system noticed that my password was a statement on their level of incompetence? [*]

* - don't worry, it'll be something else in two moons, I trust eBay marginally more than I trust PayPal; and I don't trust PayPal at all.

That said, aren't those two practically partner companies? If eBay has been compromised, how do we know PayPal hasn't been?

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heyrick
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WTF?

eBay.fr

No notification. No email. No on-screen prompt. No nothing.

Luckily I have zero trust in PayPal so I always use virtual credit cards. As for the rest of it, WTF eBay?

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Fanbois Apple-gasm as iPhone giant finally reveals WWDC lineup

heyrick
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Re: You too can copywrite like a wanker...

Because. Apple is. Epic. Like so wow.

Or something. Maybe it is supposed to reflect how a fruityfan thinks at the idea of 1000 Apple bods and 5000 devs together in a room.

Will there be an iOS 8? That's about the only thing of importance to me.

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Son of ACTA pours fuel on IP trade fire

heyrick
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"“natural gas exports from the U.S. to the EU would be automatically deemed in the public interest and export licenses automatically granted”"

So... You are striving to negotiate untenable "deals" in private and talking in them about what is "in the public interest"?

There's the door. Don't slam it on your way out.

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Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

heyrick
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Re: Might consider this

@ AC: While I won't deny Android has quirks/issues, I think it only fair to mention that iOS7's calendar is easy to screw up - I was syncing to a Google sunrise/sunset iCal for ages. Last month it went on the fritz and the calendar responded by instantly dying. It is simply not possible to use Bluetooth to send pictures to non Apple devices. The iOS browser crashes too, just less often. There's no Flash support which may be a good thing except when you are looking at an older site that depends upon it.

In defence of iOS, email is lovely, it traps and warns when some open AP tries to pull something like a MitM of SSL sites, and VPN just works.

Bottom line - everything has quirks. It just depends which ones you are happy to live with...

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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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FAIL

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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Happy

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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