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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1116 posts • joined 22 May 2007

SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Dr. Mouse
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Nice article, thanks

Totally agree that there needs to be discussion, debate and compromise to solve this issue. The problem is neither side wish to do so/

The way I see it, the media industries shot themselves in the foot a long time ago and have been struggling to stop the hemorrhage since. They failed to keep up with technology, so people stepped into the gap and provided the services people wanted: the only problem was, without the media industries backing, it was piracy, and the media industry made no money from it.

There is now a generation where a large proportion have become used to getting any media they want almost instantly, and available to watch on any device they wish. The fact it is free is incidental. They are able to download a torrent of a file, for example, on the day of release (and sometimes earlier) and, a short while later, watch it. They can then play it on their phone, their PC, their TV... any device they want, for as long as they want, in as good quality as they would get if they had gone to the shop and bought the DVD/BluRay. There are no restrictions on operating systems or number of devices they can play it on. There are no trailers or adverts about "copyright theft". In short it is convenient and simple.

Having "forced" a big chunk of this generation into such distribution methods, the industry needs to come up with something which is at least as good in order to convert them, as they will not pay for a service of a lower standard than they are used to receiving for free. They also need to price it sensibly, so they are encouraged to use it. And they need to make ALL content available, as with only a limitted amount, why should they switch?

This is a better method than enforcement (at the moment). There will still be some die-hard "freetards" (hate the term, but it's the best term available) who will not switch, but with a reasonable, legal alternative most will. At this point, it will be easier (and less unpopular) to target enforcement action at those who have not switched (if there are enough of them to be worth it by then).

To sum it all up, the media industry (IMHO) need to "win the hearts and minds" of the public (mainly the tech public) with a GOOD QUALITY, GOOD VALUE service before they wage war on the illegitimate sources of media. Instead, they choose to offer services of a lower standard than those availble elsewhere and shut down the places offering what their customers want.

Then they are surprised when their customers fight back.

Instead of fighting the tech, they should be engaging them to find out what they want, and providing it.

Note: I am not saying the "pirates" are in the right, just that the media industry are, IMO, doing things in the wrong way. So are the tech industry.

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Formula 1 revs engines through Virgin Media

Dr. Mouse
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"It will be interesting to see how this works out though. F1 is such a commercially-dependent sport and I wonder how the reduced viewing figures will impact the teams' ability to attract sponsorship."

I wouldn't be surprised to see it end up the same way Premiership football has: so dependant on TV fees that it becomes their bitch.

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Dr. Mouse
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"It'll be a streaming site for me, or friends/pubs with Sky."

I reckon you'll be lucky to find a pub showing the F1.

F1 races are on Sundays, normally in the afternoon. Guess which more popular sport is also shown on Sunday afternoons on Sky?

There was one pub I went to which showed F1, a biker bar which has sadly shut down, but that was because it was FTA (they didn't have Sky).

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Dr. Mouse
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Though I big F1 fan, I had already told the missus-to-be that I would not be paying extra for F1: I already hate paying for Sky, even on the basic (HD) package, and will not pay extra. She blames me for getting her into F1.

Luckily, I have been reliably informed that the F1 channel will be free if you have either Sports or HD packages, so I should get it for no extra.

If not, I can get my motorsport fix elsewhere: MotoGP anyone?

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Pollution-gobbling molecules in global warming SMACKDOWN

Dr. Mouse
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@James 51

"you're assuming that the plants we have can cope with the amount of polution humanity is creating"

I know CO2 is not the only pollutant we are creating, but it is the most talked about, and plants like higher CO2 concentrations (in general).

Therefore by putting out CO2 we are probably helping the plants which will, eventually, remove it from the atmosphere and restore balance.

This doesn't stop your point about "hacking away at the plants" being true.

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Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor

Dr. Mouse
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About time!

Ive wondered before why a "smartphone" needs to contain all the gubbins it does. My own idea was a "dumb" phone which does phone calls and text messages only, in a tiny package, then a "smart" termial, which can do all the cool stuff and uses the dumb phone for connectivity. This goes much further... I like it, I want it :)

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Android-powered goggles bring virtual reality closer

Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

@Aaron Em

He was saying other AR devices require you holding your device out at arms-length in a gesture similar to those used by German Nazi's. He didn't even come close to calling you a Nazi. I, however, come very close to calling you a moron!
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German cops hacked in revenge for dad spying on daughter

Dr. Mouse
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I'm pretty sure that, even in our company (a semiconductor manufacturer), it's a serious disciplinary offence. For a cop... Blimey, I wouldn't be surprised if he could be prosecuted for it!

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Windows 8 to get self-healing 'Storage Spaces'

Dr. Mouse
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Excuze ma spelin an grama

s/loose/lose/

I always mix them up...

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Dr. Mouse
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El Reg is going to loose revenue.

I have always disabled ABP etc on the Register to support them.

These ads have become so disruptive I'm not going to bother any more. ABP back on.

Take note: Readers are often more than happy to have ads, not so happy when they make a chunk of the article slide off their screen a few seconds into reading!

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Chrome beta promises super-fast URL loads

Dr. Mouse
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@NogginTheNog

Dell Streak 5-incher seems just about pocketable

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Study finds piracy withering against legal alternatives

Dr. Mouse
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Happy

OK, I put my hands up, I was wrong. I had never heard of Jury Nullification. In fact, when I was on a jury, the court's directions seemed to go completely against that, even if only by implication, which is where my viewpoint comes from.

It seems to me that this is not very well known and would probably have more impact if jurors knew of it. As far as I was concerned, I was there to evaluate the evidence under the law (although it would have made no difference in that case).

Thanks for the correction and education :)

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Dr. Mouse
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"What the courts say is one thing, but *juries* have awarded copyright holders enormous sums for damages. Is there any reason to think that those juries were more representative of the American public than the sample in this survey?"

Disclaimer: IANAL

AFAIK the damages are not assigned by a jury, but by the judge. The jury only decides guilty/not guilty of each charge.

Even if it is the jury who award the damages, they will be directed in what they are allowed to do by the judge. Many may feel the damages are disproportionate, but a jury is not allowed to flout the law: If they find the defendant guilty of x, they must award damages of y. I have been on a jury, and their remit is severely limitted.

Similarly if it is a judge who makes the descision, the both he and the jury are constrained by the law. If the case is proven that someone is guilty, the jury must find them guilty. They cannot use their sympathies to decide that, althopugh they committed a crime, they should be let off. The judge must then use this verdict to determine the punishment within the constraints of the law. There may be a small amount of wiggle room allowed in the legal framework, but things must remain within that framework.

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Dr. Mouse
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Very Simple

"The only thing I find confusing is the scoring, which even the show's host doesn't seem to understand."

The scores don't matter. Simples.

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Govt tells science to budge up for arts at new hi-tech uni

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

"instead of just thinking about STEM, we should add the Arts so it becomes STEAM."

Sounds like a load of hot air to me

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Ofcom grills pirates, loses report under fridge for two years

Dr. Mouse
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Obvious answer (in my oppinion)

"Well, chaps, here's an idea. Why not choose a representative sample of 2,000 broadband users, grant them immunity for a couple of months, and do a silent double-blind test? Perhaps with some of the sample you could experiment with new ideas. The ISP knows exactly what's going on, so speculating on speculation should become superfluous."

This research would have to be conducted by (or with the express consent of) the industry (music/film/software producers working together) to allow them to offer immunity. However, these are the exact same people who do not want this research conducted: they want to be able to maintain their archaic business models, and this research would likely (IMHO) force them into doing something new.

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BT, Scotland Yard form copper theft crackdown supersquad

Dr. Mouse
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"The Yard added that a single piece of copper cable nicked from an underground telephone network could knock out the landlines to more than 200 homes and businesses for up to three days at a time."

Doesn't sound like a well designed infrastructure to me... ah, wait, it's BT, I get it.

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Swiss insist file-sharers don't hurt copyright holders

Dr. Mouse
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"Law based on actually studying a case properly rather than give in blindly to lobby groups!"

I know, it's incredible!

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Apple probed by EC antitrust arm over ebooks market

Dr. Mouse
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Way to miss the target, Sean Baggaley 1

AFAIK, Amazon was happily selling eBooks (along with several others) as they do real books: i.e. buy the book from the publisher, sell it, with a negotiated wholesale price paid to the publisher, and then Amazon free to set their price (subject to competition).

That's where Apple came along to demand a chunk of the pie. They didn't want anyone selling for less than them, so they and the publishers forced a different model. In effect, it means the publisher is selling the book to the consumer, and gives a cut to the retailer. It amounts to price fixing, and is the reason many Kindle books now say "This price was set by the publisher"

Note: the above is what I understand from the articles I have read. There may be inaccuracies, but I believe the overall story is correct.

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Capita signs £560m deal with BBC

Dr. Mouse
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Minor correction...

"It is as much a legal requirement to have a TV licence if you own and operate a TV in the UK as it is to tax a car if you keep it on the road."

It is not a requirement to have a license if you own and operate a TV in the UK. It is a requirement to have a TV license if you receive broadcast TV content. It is perfectly legal to own equipment capable of receiving TV broadcasts without a TV license IF you don't recieve them (e.g. have no aerial connected, detune the TV etc.), no matter what they try to tell you. The license ppl can get quite threatenning. I have a friend who did this. They needed to save money, so cancelled the TVL, detuned the TVs, diconnected the aerials, and stopped watching TV (watched DVDs etc when they wanted to). The TVL sent someone round, she invited them in and showed them that she could not get broadcast TV in the house. Initially they claimed "you could just plug back up and retune the equipment", but this doesn't hold water. They went away with tails between legs, and a year or so later, when my friend had the money to do so, the license started being paid again.

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Bloke claims ex swiped his sperm to make twins

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

But shirly...

...that would rule out all heterosexual intercourse.

All women are crazy!

Joking of course... or am I?

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Tablets need permanent Black Friday price slash to triumph

Dr. Mouse
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"No one is going to pay an iPad price for anything other than an iPad."

I will add one word... "Yet".

When Android phone's first appeared, nobody was going to pay iPhone prices for them, because they could get an iPhone for that. Therefore lower priced Android phones appeared, allowing Android to make a big push into the market.

Now many are prepared to pay MORE for an Android phone than and iPhone.

This is what needs to happen with tablets. Devices like the Fire need releasing to allow the Android Tablet to make a big push into the market. Once this happens, people will be more likely to look at higher-priced models.

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Climategate: A symptom of driving science off a cliff

Dr. Mouse
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"It's interesting to note the difference between CERN's handling of some odd results, and CRU and, well, any data at all."

I must agree.

CERN's handling of it's "faster than light" findings has been an example to all scientists. Publishing all the data involved, including the method used to collect and analyse that data, allows the whole scientific community to analyse it and find any possible errors. This is a very important step in something which affects a fundamental law of physics...

...or something which may have massive impact upon the entire human population, as climate scientists claim will happen with climate change.

I am not saying one way or the other whether man-made climate change is correct. All I am saying is that when something is as important as this, CERN's method is the correct one, not CRU's.

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Dr. Mouse
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Big Brother

"In an attempt to avoid inaccuracy, I suggest simply inventing new, short words instead."

We could call it "Newspeak".

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Oz ISPs propose copyright enforcement trial

Dr. Mouse
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T&Cs

This is a true comment, however your T&Cs will state that the account holder is responsible for use of the account. Now, while this shouldn't stand up in court for other actions, it does mean that the ISP can justifiably disconnect you for breaching your T&Cs.

Also, I believe that the action would be a civil prosecution, which does not carry the same burden of proof as criminal proceedings. Merely presenting that it is your account would, I think, be enough to win their case if you presented no evidence in defence (IANAL).

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Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley

Dr. Mouse
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@AC

It is not discrimination to ask an obese person to pay extra if they are going to require 2 seats, it is geometry: You do not fit in 1 seat. If you take up the space of 2 passengers, expect to pay more.

My mum is tiny, yet even she was squashed when she was forced to sit next to one overweight american who hadn't bought an extra seat (and she was only sat their because my dad couldnt fit at all next to this inconsiderate b***h!)

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GiffGaff blames O2 gaffe for mobile outage

Dr. Mouse
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I, too, have found the network to perform identically to O2.

And forum-wise, I find the majority of the answers to be informative. Of course some are complete tosh, as with any forum, but it works for me and costs me half as much as I was paying on an O2 simplicity plan.

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Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

"But none of that helps run the actual network, which still needs engineers to keep it operational, and while the approaching-two-day outage may only be affecting a small number of people, it is still unacceptable for any mobile network – even one run by its customers."

And O2 has never had such problems before? I seem to remember a recent much larger scale mobile data problem from them.

I can't remember about any others, but the truth is all network operators have occasional glitches. Nobody is perfect.

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Got a few minutes to help LOHAN suck?

Dr. Mouse
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Plenty of ideas here, but my personal favorite (for it's simplicity) is using condensation to lower the pressure. I am not sure how low you could get with this setup, but I would suggest the following:

* Fill the chamber with steam. This is probably easiest to accomplish by pouring in a small amount of boiling water.

* With lid still in place, cool with cold water to condense the steam.

* Remove the cold water and add the dry ice. This should remove any remaining water vapour and freeze the water at the bottom, so the humidity should not be too different.

To increase the effectiveness, you could add a small vac pump (e.g. vaccuum cleaner or from a diesel) to reduce the pressure before chilling, but this will also remove some steam... It'd take some experimentation to ensure it would get the pressure low enough. You may need to try a different refrigerant, too, but if it works it's definitely the simplest option...

One other option I can see... Take the chamber, with a one-way valve installed (in place of the vac pump) to a hypobaric chamber. They take the pressure down, then when you take it out it's all set at the required pressure, ready to chill and fire.

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Coders are creatives too: Where's our love?...

Dr. Mouse
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@Graham Dawson

I beleive you are highlighting the main misconception of society in your comment here.

Engineers ARE BOTH technical AND creative people.

Solving a complex engineering problem requires both technical ability and a creative mind. The best engineers often solve the new problems by coming up with new techniques, which obviously involves a creative element. Even applying an existing technique to a new situation involves imagination and creativity.

The problem is that (in this country at least) engineers are considered the doers. I remember a poll in the UK asking people to name the most famous engineer they knew. The most popular answer: Kevin Webster, a mechanic from Coronation Street. It does not help that cleaners have job titles like "Sanitation Engineer", but in this country the word Engineer is misunderstood by the vast majority of the population.

Contrast this to, for example, Germany. Over there, engineers are looked upon very highly, in the same way as doctors. I beleive (although I may be wrong) that there are rules about who may be called an engineer.

The problem is not that Devs/Coders/Software engineers are not recognised in their creative capacity, but that technical creatives in general are not recognised by the majority of the population. This is why we are regulated to "doers", and the crayon brigade get the aclaim.

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Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test

Dr. Mouse
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Yes, but what if their science is flawed? What if they cut up wood to make tables when they have perfectly good tummies to eat off?

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US nuclear aircraft carrier George Bush crippled by toilet outages

Dr. Mouse
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Happy

The headline would be better without "US nuclear aircraft carrier"

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Galaxy Tab case tweaked to evade Germany ban

Dr. Mouse
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And then...

... have Apple sue you for using their trademark on the device. D'Oh! Don't think you thought that one through.

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Too rude for the road: DVLA hot list of banned numberplates

Dr. Mouse
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We're not stoning anyone...

... Even if they do say "Jehovah"!

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Pogoplug launches cloud sync'n'store service

Dr. Mouse
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Doesn't add up...

"Pogoplug Cloud is a Dropbox-style service: you get 5GB of online storage space for free, but you can expand that to 50GB or 100GB for $10 (£6) and $20 (£13) a month, respectively. That's what Dropbox charges, and is rather better value than Apple is offering with iCloud: £70 a year for 55GB."

50GB for £6 per mo = £1.44 per GB per year

55GB for £70 per yr = £1.27 per GB per year

So Apple's offering is actually better value (who'da thunk it?) if your figures are correct.

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Oracle gives Solaris 11 final spit and polish

Dr. Mouse
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"It will be interesting to see if Oracle can get Solaris 11 on a wide selection of x86-based servers, too."

Well, I know they need to validate it etc, but I have been running Solaris 11 Express on a converted desktop for a while now as a test bed, with no issues. I have to say I love it.

"If they open up a new opensolaris"

I have heard they will be releasing source after they release 11 in full, so it should give a boost to the Solaris-based systems (Nexenta etc.) and other ZFS implementations.

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Seagate flings twirling terabyte platters at world

Dr. Mouse
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I was about to reply telling you that you are wrong, but I just checked...

Blimey! 1TB HDDs could be had for sub-£50 not long ago, 2TB for £70ish, what the hell's going on?!?!

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Too many states are crushing net rights, says Foreign Sec

Dr. Mouse
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Censorship is Doubleplusungood.

Let us censor.

(doublethink at it's best, here)

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Earth escapes obliteration by comet

Dr. Mouse
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Depends which average... I suspect more than half are more stupid than the mean stupidity level.

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Samsung gets fast-track appeal on Tab injunction

Dr. Mouse
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Part of the problem, here...

is how long it takes to get to court.

Let us imagine a scenario where this case gets to court in mid-2012, and Samsung win. So what now? The products are worthless, having been superceeded by the next generation.

If they are going to have these patent battles for high tech devices which will be outdated in 6 months (max), get 'em into a court room pronto and decide, or don't allow an injunction till the case is done.

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Jobs: 'I'll spend my dying breath destroying Android'

Dr. Mouse
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Yes, it changed drastically from prototype stage to the final product... I've never seen that happen before!

You could argue that Apple "stole" their design from the WinMo phones HTC has been producing for years. In the end, IMHO, they are very different.

And I second the comment above about Apple copying Android's notification bar in iOS 5. But, in the end, such features do get passed around technology as it evolves. This doesn't mean they are copying, exactly.

And I would point out, too, the blatant copying Apple pulled in it's early days. Pot, meet Kettle.

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New RAM shunts data into flash in power cuts

Dr. Mouse
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@Robert E A Harvey

"boot-up time on the CAM system"

Everyone in the office now knows I am reading El'Reg instead of working, coz That made me burst out laughing! Love it!

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Dr. Mouse
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"Seems this would go a long way toward making instant-on-hardly-ever-need-to-reboot computers and devices a reality."

Only if either

a) Microsoft bucks it's ideas up, or

b) People switch to an OS which hardly ever needs a reboot

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Dr. Mouse
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The biggest advantage to Capacitors over Batteries is how quickly and efficiently they can charge and discharge. With a battery, if you discharge faster you don't get as much energy out, where as this isnt the case with a supercap*. They can also be charge very quickly.

Add the advantages above, and for short term power supply they are a very good option.

* I know this isn't technically the case, due to power losses from the higher current, but it is such a small effect compared to batteries as to make it negligible.

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HTC's iPhone, iPad ban bid derailed by US judge

Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Up

I couldn't agree more.

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Apple's US bid to ban Samsung tabs hinges on design

Dr. Mouse
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@cloudgazer

Why not link a picture? Because I don't have one.

But you are right. The screen wasn't flush. It had a button or 2. It was grey, not black.

I am not saying you could not distinguish between them, just that they were of the same concept. All that's moved on is technology: It would have been much more difficult/expensive at that time to do a flush screen and thinner bezel, if it was even possible. If you looked at the PDAs & Smartphones of the time, they also had thick bezels. This does not stop them being pretty much the same, barring improvements which have come mostly from new technology.

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Dr. Mouse
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I beg to differ

This is only my oppinion, but...

I used a Tablet a fair while before the iPad came out. It was a Windows-based tablet. It had a screen in the middle, a border round the edge, and that's pretty much it.

OK, it was bigger, thicker, and not as "slick". But, hey, that's mainly technology improving.

Similarly, I used touch-screen smart phones and PDAs before the iPhone. These were, by and large, the same as the iPhone, but a bit more bulky (mainly, again, down to the technology)

IMHO, as with most Apple products, the iPhone and iPad (which is just a scaled up iPhone anyway) are derrivative in design from what came before.

Now I will admit that Samsung are treading close to the line which divides derrivative from blatant copying (and may have crossed it, I haven't actually seen the products in question), but I do think that those who say "Wow, Apple are SO innovative!" (as was said many times after Jobs' death) have selective memory. What Apple are good at is taking an existing concept and refining it, making it more usable for that average man on the street. I take nothing away from them for that, they do it very well, but that is it.

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Hadoop: A Linux even Microsoft likes

Dr. Mouse
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RE: What are the alternatives to AD?

Actually, there are several, but none are as easy for a mainly-Windows userbase.

In an environment which was not prodominantly Linux, I would not consider using an alternative. The alternatives are just not as good, in terms of ease of use and functionality, when used in a Windows environment.

I am, however, about to start evaluating Samba 4. I know it's only Alpha at the moment, but it should be a viable alternative once it is finished. However, this is only AD on Linux. The problem is, if you don't use MS's proprietary systems on Windows, you run into the sort of configuration Hell you used to get on Linux back-in-the-day, which just isn't worth the man-hours.

Run a pure Linux/Unix environment (or only a small number of Windows machines), and there are much better alternatives.

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Dr. Mouse
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RE: Real FOSS is licensed under GPL

Actually, I don't quite agree.

Real FOSS is Public Domain, where there are absolutely no restrictions on the use of the code, in part or in full. All rights are given up by the author.

The probelm is that this gets exploited, which is why FOSS licenses sprang up. These are less Free and Open than public domain, but protect the wishes of the author to keep the software as Free and Open as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the GPL and use it myself, but to be truely Free and Open, there must be no restrictions on use or distibution of the code. GPL is a good approximation of Free and Open.

Only my 2p worth...

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BOFH: Where's my free fondleslab?

Dr. Mouse
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Coffee/keyboard

"As a punishment, we have kept all the free iPads and Alienwares for ourselves and given him none."

You owe me a new keyboard for that!

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