* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1292 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Call from the register?

Dr. Mouse
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Call from the register?

I just had an odd phone call. The quality was very low, so I am unsure whether I correctly heard, and the call cut off before I could get any more details, but they seemed to be claiming to be calling from el'Reg.

I'm just wondering if this is something which would happen. Do you guys make cold calls? I don't even remember filling in my mobile number here.

It's not a problem, really, but I am wary. I have never received a phone call from el'Reg before, and it came from a private number (which I always find untrustworthy). So some confirmation and/or explanation would be helpful.

Thanks in advance

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Sony-blasting Lizard Squad suspects quizzed by UK and Finnish cops

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I always find it horrifying

So, let's stop pretending to be horrified by the justice system and look at prison rape as part of the deterrence

First, I'm not pretending. Second, it's not the justice system, it's the disgusting crime that occurs in prison. And third, if you sanction rape and murder as "part of the deterrent" you may as well be committing it yourself. Hell, while we are at it, let's torture prisoners too. After all, they deserve it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: assuming he's in it up to his scrawny neck, by now...

I always find it horrifying that people laugh and joke about being raped in prison, seemingly with the attitude that they deserve it. While I get the gallows humour, I don't see how it's really any different to laughing about rapes in general, or excusing them. It's a problem, and a crime, and something which we should be working to put a stop to (like murders in prison), not something to laugh about or threaten people with. Granted, it's a difficult task. Prisons are filled with the scum of the earth, who think they can do whatever they want.

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1,000mph ROCKET CAR project dogged by beancounters

Dr. Mouse
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Bloodhound originally used a Cosworth Formula 1 engine as a fuel pump but with the new sponsorship from Jaguar Land Rover, a 550hp Jaguar engine has been pressed into service.

I may be wrong, but I had heard the reason they are not using a Cosworth F1 engine is because there are no Cosworth F1 engines anymore. They are no longer being produced, due to the change in engine regulations.

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El Reg tests portable breathalyzers: Getting drunk so you don't have to

Dr. Mouse
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Re: UK

Lol, no I'm not really a doctor. I'd love to get a PhD someday to make it true, but I'm just a lowly BEng.

What I put is just my own opinion, and the guidelines I follow. In my younger days, I took the guidelines on face value and had a pint after work, driving home immediately. I am slim build and, looking back, I was unfit to drive. I would also go on heavy nights out, stopping at a friends house and driving home the next day. On several occasions I was unfit to drive then, too, although I never thought so at the time.

Now I stick to soft drinks when I have to drive, and am careful about how much I drink if I have to drive the next day. I'm just glad that I did no harm back when I wasn't so careful.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Drink and drive, a simple rule:

I think you should be done for a minimum of involuntary manslaughter if you hit someone - you made that choice when you got into the car.

I would agree with this, in fact I would go a step further. I think it should be looked at in the same way as "felony murder" in the US: You made the decision to drive drunk, which is a crime. All consequences of that crime should be considered intentional. So if you kill someone, it should be murder. If you crash into another car, it should be treated the same as if you had set out and planned to ram your car into theirs.

It could be taken a stage further than that, even, although I think this one probably goes too far. The fact you have driven drunk means you are accepting the possibility of killing someone, so it could be seen as attempted murder even if you are just pulled over by the cops.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: UK

I've always been advised roughly 1 hour per unit consumed after you finish drinking. However, I did come across an (I think) Excel spreadsheet which calculated it all for you, given details about your drinks, timing, and your weight etc. It was very interesting, but I've not been able to find it again.

I would not trust it, though. I would not normally drink heavily if I know I have to drive the next day, and have used a taxi to get to work before now when "a couple" turns into "stumble in at 2am with a kebab".

Assuming you set off for work at 7am and finish drinking around midnight, I would stick to 2-3 pints at most. On 8 pints, finishing at 2am, you shouldn't expect to be fit to drive till the next evening. You may be fine sooner, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: cheap fun BAC readers too inaccurate

Cheaper might be time release alcohol-filled nanoparticles.

I think the point would be that you actually get drunk at the pub, then activate the nanobots when you need to drive. They sober you up, you drive home, then can release the alcohol and get instantly drunk again.

To be honest, I think taxis are a better idea. Drink what you want, and someone else drives you home. One very good idea, though, would be something you could ingest before you go to bed, which aids in clearing the alcohol from your system somehow. This could be by speeding up the bodies own systems to break it down, or some other method. I have no idea how (or if) this could be done...

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Dr. Mouse
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make sure you have an unopened bottle of something in the trunk

I saw this one on CSI. Sara's dad, I think, was involved in an accident while over the limit, and she told him to find the nearest bar and down some shots. He would be able to say he drank because he was so shaken up, and the cops would not be able to prove he was drunk while driving.

Of course, I certainly do not advocate this. Just don't drink and drive. I, personally, don't have any if I am driving, and drink conservatively if I have to drive the next morning. I would also have no problem reporting someone to the police if I was reasonably sure they had drunk too much and got in a car, even friends or family if I failed to convince them not to (including threatening to report them). Luckily I have very few friends or family who would be stupid enough, and have never had to do this.

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

Dr. Mouse
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As far as I am aware, if the seller does not charge VAT, it should be charged on import with any appropriate duty.

I have been stung by this. I was unaware, and bought 2 CPUs from a US seller. I had to pay import duty, VAT, and an admin fee to the courier (which outstripped the taxes). All in, I ended up paying more than just buying from a UK retailer.

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Money hungry bastards

I guess it depends on your needs. Personally, on a holiday I am not bothered about having internet access. If I had arrived and there was no net, I would have texted my boss and told him I was uncontactable (unless he allowed me to expense phone calls and texts).

When it comes to business trips, I do need internet. However, then I have no problem with paying for it, as it gets expensed to the company.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Money hungry bastards

I'm just back from Goa. The hotel we stayed at used to charge for Wifi. It wasn't too expensive, and was a great service.

They have recently changed this to free. The service quality has gone down the toilet. I struggled to load a web page or check email most of the time (unfortunately my boss needed me to check in in case of urgent problems). In addition to this, they allowed only one device at a time, whereas when you paid for it you could pay for several devices. When I needed the net, I had to ask my wife to log out.

So personally, I would rather choose a hotel with reasonably-priced, good quality wifi over one with free, crap wifi. It's the reasonably-priced bit that Marriot seem to be getting wrong.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Jammers ???

While I do think they are doing this for the money, I can see it from a network management point of view as well. We attended a (non-technical) trade show a couple of years ago, and every man and his dog had their own Wifi set up for their own stand. This made wifi unusable, both for the exhibitors and for the visitors.

The next year, the show operator said no individual wifi. They invested a lot in decent wireless comms, and told everyone they must use that. They would even set it up so it dropped directly into your own stand's network. Things went a lot more smoothly.

The difference here is that they offered it free, both to guests and to exhibitors. If these hotels did the same (or at least charged a reasonable amount) they wouldn't need to de-auth people.

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Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Dr. Mouse
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Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs, look for cyclists (and motorcyclists) when changing lanes (or generally when driving).

In general, all road users need to be aware of those around them, and obey road markings and rules of the road. There would be a lot less accidents if people did that. There are plenty of cyclists who break the rules, but there are more car drivers who do.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Dr. Mouse
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Re: This is gold

Exactly my thoughts. If it is so early in the day for deciding against it, it should not be going into Debian, the distro I go to for stability in my servers.

I don't care that I don't get the newest, flashiest software. I care that it works, every time, and I can say that Debian has always done so.

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

Dr. Mouse
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Re: That bastard gave me OCD

Whenever I'm bored, I start clicking random. Always cheers me up.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: "period table"

Or a table about the menstrual cycle?

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BOFH: Everyone deserves a little DOWNTIME

Dr. Mouse
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Re: The one advantage...

Yes, IIRC GPRS did allow calls through. It was before that, when it basically acted like a modem (can't even remember what it was called now) which would tie up the line when you were internetting.

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Dr. Mouse
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Thank you!

Thank you, dear Vultures, for restoring BOFH to his rightful place on a Friday. Just what I needed after this week...

To the story, great stuff again, Simon! Remote management through a convoluted chain of remote desktops, SSH connections and port forwarding into the LOMs, why does that sound so familiar? And figuring which server by trying them at random until the one your want disappears. All with people calling you (with me, normally to tell me there's a problem, which I already know, but nobody has botherred to pass the damn message on).

And Gina is still on the scene... Hope the enjoy the trip to Amsterdam :)

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Dr. Mouse
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Re: On the bright side

use the roads but pretend there are no rules and no etiquette.

To be fair, this phenomenon is not limited to cyclists. Car drivers often cut down the wrong lane and dangerously push in front of me, motorcyclists filter at high speeds on motorways, lorry drivers pull out to overtake but then realise they can't, but stay there anyway as they are now alongside, bus drivers consistently fail to travel faster than 20mph, holding everyone up. There are inconsiderate road users in every type of vehicle.

I do get very wound up by cyclists breaking red lights. Unfortunately, this is often "forced" by car drivers using the advance stop lines, so technically breaking the red lights themselves. More should be done to crack down on both of these.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: reducing energy consumption

>The big things we need for comfort

The crux of the problem lies within the above phrase.

He said the BIG things. So this is not about consumer products etc. This is about having heating, light, hot water, cookers etc. All things that a civilisation the size of ours needs.

As also pointed out in the article, just to make the renewable generation equipment, we need vast amounts of energy. So we need more energy to produce more energy generating equipment... You see the vicious circle?

I agree with the article: What we need is a large investment in modern nuclear fission power (as well as continued research into fusion), as well as some small reductions in red tape. We also need to continue developing renewables, but stop the hidden subsidies (if the govt want them subsidised, do it, don't make US subsidise through our bills).

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Google Contributor: Ad-block killer – or proof NO ONE will pay for news?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: huh?

For sites like El Reg where ad revenue is important I'd happily not block the ads if they were not so intrusive as to either obscure the article or distract my attention with flashing animations.

Here here!

I have recently re-enabled ABP on el Reg due to the invasiveness of the ads.

Instead of this Google initiative, I'd like to see sites do something like another of my regular reads: f1fanatic.co.uk. Here, they allow you to pay a small fee (£1/month) to remove all the ads. As I use it so often, and want to support the site, I pay this fee. I would do so for el Reg, if they had the option. Other sites I wouldn't bother with, but would allow (small, unintrusive) adverts. I will always block intrusive adverts.

One of the most annoying types of advert on here is the "change the colour and put stuff in the margins" advert. If I select text, I have always clicked in the margins to deselect. On el Reg, without ABP: BAM! You are on some other site, who are trying to sell you some **** that you don't want!

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

Dr. Mouse
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Sounds like I'm the only one here who hasn't had issues with these multi-function printers. Then again, we haven't had a new one here since I started. It took ages to get this one to print our certificates (on large, thick, plasticy pre-printed paper) without jamming. Now it's set up, we point-blank refuse the "upgrades" they keep offering.

I will come back to one point, and I will continue to make it until el Reg listen:

BOFH belongs on a FRIDAY!

Please move it back! As I've pointed out before, reading BOFH on a Monday morning makes it less amusing, and on a weekend even less. Friday lunchtime is the correct time for BOFH, please move it back!

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Glasgow boffins: We can now do it, Captain. We DO have the molecular storage power

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Wow

Prisoner of Mother

Would that not be a foetus?

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Not far off

I've actually had a lot of that from my father. He's a civil engineer, and has banged heads with many architects over his time. There have been several instances where the "design" (i.e. pretty picture) is either impossible to build with current technology, or so eye-wateringly expensive it may as well be. This never deterred the architect, and my father's "diplomatic skills" (or lack thereof) often ended up with him quitting, being fired, or being pushed sideways into another project. He would often later find out that the architect backed down, and the alternative design he had proposed was accepted when someone who didn't just p*** everyone off proposed it in a more diplomatic way.

BTW I know that this speaks volumes about my dad's likeability and employability. I don't like him much myself at times, and certainly wouldn't want to work with him!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Hey don't go mocking the 'creatives'

Thanks Khaptain, at least someone got it :)

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Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Re: Hey don't go mocking the 'creatives'

IT is just a tool.

You're just a tool!

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Dr. Mouse
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Not far off

I have spoken to many "software engineers" (male and female) who match the Barbie of this book more closely than anything else. They come up with an idea, draw some pretty pictures, then hand it to a team of programmers who do the real work. Then they claim all the credit.

These are just like the architects who draw pretty pictures, then hand them to a team of civil engineers to actually make it work. But the architect, obviously, gets the credit, not the people who turned a drawing not too dissimilar to those produced in crayon by a 5 year old into a real design.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Dr. Mouse
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I don't have the Samsung Note, but on my Tegra Note 7 it is in between the nice-to-have and indispensable. I would certainly miss it if it weren't there, and I wouldn't be playing Sudoku on it any more (Sudoku is just too slow if you aren't writing the numbers, I find).

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Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

Dr. Mouse
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Re: No option?

And there is no real customer 'choice' available: Either watch the BBC's excellent but 50%-of-races-as-highlight-shows-only OR pay for Sky channels that I wouldn't watch in order to then watch 6 hours of TV every three weeks.

Actually, there is a much cheaper choice with Sky.

You can watch the 9 BBC races live, then watch the others using Now TV. It's £10 for a day pass, so it would work out at £100/yr to watch all races live.

I'm not sure whether qualifying & practice are shown on BBC, so if you want to watch them too you may be better off with a Sky subscription.

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Dr. Mouse
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"Competition" does not help the consumer in this case. It hinders them.

Real competition would be to force the Premiership to sell all the rights to at least 2 broadcasters, then let consumers decide which to watch it on. Exclusive deals mean that broadcaster has a monopoly on that game.

This is where it has gone wrong. Europe has tried to help, but actually made things worse. If both Sky and BT (for example) had the rights to all games, we could choose between the two based on our preferences. THAT would be competition, and it's the only real solution.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: No option?

It's if you want to watch a specific match, particularly in the premier league that things become restricted.

Just to clarify, I am not a football fan. The only sport I follow is F1, and even that has come close to being dropped. Luckily for us, we already had a basic Sky package, and could just pay a fiver a month extra for HD to get the channel. If it moves to the sports package, I'll be dropping it.

Back to the point in question: Most football fans are fans of a particular club. They want to watch the games that club plays. They will watch other games, but it is their club that they want to see.

I am no expert, not being a fan, but if they are a fan of a Premier league club, they will need Sky Sports at least. However, due to "competition", they will now need BT Sports to watch some. They will need BT Sports for some of the FA cup. This isn't competition, as if you want to watch the game, you have no choice but to pay for that one, specific channel.

In order to have competition for the consumer (what most people view as competition), you need to have the game available on at least 2 channels. Then you can choose which channel to watch it on (and pay for).

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Dr. Mouse
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To be honest, this is something I find odd about sports broadcasting in the UK.

The rights holders go on about competition. What they actually mean is that TV companies compete for the rights. However, the consumer has no option, if he wants to watch a particular tournament, than to subscribe to the one, exclusive channel.

This is then compounded by the fact that several tournaments are spread over several TV channels. If you are a football fan (luckily I am not) then, to see all games, you need to subscribe to several channels to see all the games your club plays in.

Real competition in this market will only come in if exclusive arrangements are dropped. Then the consumer would actually have a choice as to which channel(s) he subscribed to, rather than having to make a choice as to whether or not to see tournament X. You could make a choice based on price, quality of programming, or whatever you wanted.

As things stand, you have 2 (legal) choices: Pay for the channel, or don't watch. That's certainly not competition.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Dr. Mouse
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Interesting

The Z launcher certainly seems interesting. I'm sure after a few weeks of use it will be pretty good.

I won't be making the switch yet, though. If nothing else, I can't change the docked apps at the bottom*. I'll try it out at some point and give it some time.

* They say you have to go to your default home app and change them there. Not only is this cumbersome, but it didn't work for me. Until I can put my own stuff on there, I will not be giving it a proper go.

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Easy to criticise MCPs

were you five?

If you are talking to me, no. I was late teens. I took the mock test "for a laugh", never expecting to pass.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Easy to criticise MCPs

I wonder how many of the people criticising the MCP exams have actually taken an exam?

By father studied for an MSCE (or whatever it is). He was between jobs, and was thinking about a shift in careers to IT, and the job centre suggested it.

Without reading the literature, and having never worked in enterprise IT (my only experience had come from helping the school IT tech in an NT4 environment) I passed the mock exam.

Admittedly, I am not great with MS admin (my career took me down the *nix route), but if I could do that they can't be that hard.

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Google Glass: Even the people who stand to MAKE MONEY from it hate the techno-specs

Dr. Mouse
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Re: $1500

Drat, just missed the edit window when I realised I forgot this bit:

* I will continue to use the plural, as they are glasses, and using the singular just sounds/looks wrong.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: $1500

That's the only reason I haven't bought them*.

I'd love a pair*, but £1000 for a toy just isn't justifiable. If I had them, I would have developed several apps already, as I can see a fair number of use cases. I am not put off by how "geeky" they look, just in how useful they can be. Let's face it, I had a smartphone before they were considered cool (Had Symbian S60 and UIQ phones, they were awesome at the time). People laughed at me for having such a big, bulky phone when everyone else was going for the smallest they could get.

They need to bring the costs down to an affordable level before they even see a large developer base, IMHO. £500 would seem reasonable (although still outside of my toy-buying budget, I'd be tempted to save up).

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Dr. Mouse
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Still wrong

While this is undoubtedly the best BOFH I have ever read, it is still wrong to the nth degree to be reading it on a Monday morning!!

BOFH needs to be released on Friday lunchtime!

El Reg: I don't care that you are trying to promote your weekend edition. On a weekend I barely touch the internet, and by Monday morning my stress levels have dropped to the point where BOFH is not as funny.

On a Friday lunchtime, my loathing of the users peaks, knowing that I have to put up with them for several hours more until I can go home and chill for the weekend. This is the perfect time for BOFH, and used to look forward to checking whether you had released a new one, reading it as soon as I saw a new one. I noticed this had come out on Saturday, but couldn't be bothered to read it until this morning.

Please stop this madness!

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Cold? Cuddle these HOT GERMAN RACKS, yours for only 12,000 euro – we swear there's an IT angle

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Nothing new here, move along

One of my friends had her gas fire in the living room condemned. She started looking at options. One was a nice, pretty "digital" fire. It had a screen, showing images of flames. When asked about heating, the guy avoided the question, until he admitted it put out 200W.

We then specced up an alternative: 32in TV hooked up to an overclocked PC with high end graphics cards, running something like SETI@Home, plus the ability to be hijacked to do video transcoding or other intensive jobs. It cost less than half the "pretty fake fire", but put out (IIRC) 800W of heat and did something "useful" with the power.

We never built it, but it was a nice little project to spec out.

I applaud this project. The only thing wrong with it, IMHO, is the installation costs. Sounds way over the top.

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SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Longer battery life

but that was several moons ago

You now have a device in your pocket which is more powerful than those laptops, a tiny fraction of the size, and lasts longer on a charge than they did. There are solutions to your problem, whether with external batteries, extra batteries, or the extended-life batteries for phones with removable back covers and batteries.

As for durability, there are niche phones which cater to that market, just as there were with laptops. They are more expensive and lower spec, just as the durable laptops were.

Things may not be advancing in exactly the direction you want, but they are certainly advancing quickly.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Longer battery life

I wouldn't carry a laptop and 4 extra batteries either.

Go back a few years, and that would have stopped you from being a mobile worker. I remember members of staff whose laptops had an extra battery in place of the optical drive, plus they carried 2-3 extra batteries when they went on business trips. It was the only way to get the thing to last more than a couple of hours.

And I obviously don't mean a smartphone that will remain unused, doesn't surf the web and doesn't receive email from either 2G/3G or Wifi.

I think you are asking the impossible. I have a Oneplus One and it has the best battery life of any smartphone I have had for several years. It has a large battery, but even it can only last about 2 days of moderate use.

To get what you are asking, they would need to triple the battery size. This would increase the handset's size and weight. When most people are OK with charging every night, why would mfrs ruin their handset by making them bigger and bulkier than they need?

And if you are happy with extra weight, you can buy a USB battery pack. Mine cost about £20, will charge 2 devices at once, and has enough juice to charge my phone 3-4 times, which would put my away-from-charger time up in the region of a week.

Or you can buy a phone with a removable battery, and a few spare batteries. I used to do this with my phones, and it worked a treat.

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BOING, BOING! Philae BOUNCED TWICE on Comet 67P

Dr. Mouse
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Re: EU rules

UKIP is against the EU controlling the UK

I sure wish someone would control our government.

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LARGE, ROUND and FEELS SO GOOD in your hand: Yes! It's a Nexus 6

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Very meh ....

Where's the value in the nexus line gone?

That's my disappointment, too.

I bought a Nexus 4 as soon as I was able. It was the first brand new phone I had bought in years, and the reason was that it was just about a top end phone for mid-range price. The step up in price from the 4 to the 5 was reasonable, although it still pushed the handset past my price point.

In the end, part of me is glad. I bought a Oneplus One, and I'm really happy with it. It's exactly what the Nexus 4 was when it was released. At £500, the 6 is far too rich for me. If it had come out at a similar price point to the 5, I would have regretted my choice. As it stands, I made the right decision.

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FALL of the MACHINES: How to KILL the Google KARATE BOT, by our expert

Dr. Mouse
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Re: catch a fly with chopsticks, Mr Miyagi-style.

Yep. I never saw Mr Miyagi catch the fly, Daniel had "beginner ruck".

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Tesco ...has fallen behind Amazon ... for the ... shiny-shiny we buy each other for Crimbo.

Actually if you have a large Tesco/Asda/etc nearby they can be very convenient, and even cheaper than online at times. I often nip to the nearest big Tesco for a cable, or a USB stick, or a TV bracket. It's cheap enough and I have it in my hands instantly.

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Dr. Mouse
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Bring in the bulldozers and put up some houses.

Why the bulldozers? They shell of the building is similar whether it's for a house or a shop.

Remodel the inside and a little on the outside and you've got a house. Knocking them down is a huge waste of resources.

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Don't assume public trusts you, MI5. 'Make a case' for surveillance – Former security chief

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I "trust" ISIS the most

ISIS is easy to trust, because they do exactly what they say. They do not lie (to us) about what they are going to do. They basically want to kill all non-Muslims. I trust that. I would prefer they were taken down, however, as I am a non-Muslim who they want to kill.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Trust

It is all about trust, and always has been.

I would suggest it's all about soul, but this is a matter of trust.

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Words to put dread in a sysadmin's heart: 'We are moving our cloud from Windows to Linux'

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Don't go Windows, and if you do, keep your options open

We have ended up with a similar issue. Development of one of our applications was done on Windows, using VS/C#/.Net/MSSQL etc. While this worked, and scales reasonably well for our use, we are tied into it now.

Had we developed using cross-platform alternatives, we could (for example) be using Raspberry Pis for out clients, which could have been integrated into the other hardware involved and produced a much nicer (and cheaper) system.

Once you have reached the point this system has in development, moving is a nightmare.

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