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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1135 posts • joined 22 May 2007

ALIEN DETECTION was SUPPRESSED by the BBC - top boffin

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I can believe it too

"Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK."

The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS.

However, like the NHS, when you are used to it, it fades into the background. You forget how special it is, and focus on the small problems with it. For example, I am still upset with them for spending shed loads on moving to a new building while dropping Formula 1. Also, with the NHS, people complain about waiting times etc. while forgetting all the good things it does for us. It is natural.

Let's take, for instance, cars. You buy a brand new car to replace your ageing rust bucket. For the first few months you love it. It's the best thing in the world, reliable and comfortable. You are proud to be seen with it.

After a few months, however, you have become used to it. You start noticing small faults: The seats don't support your back quite right, the wipers are too loud, the radio sounds a bit tinny. You then start focussing on these small things, which you complain about, forgetting how damn good the car is.

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Office for Android, Apple iOS: 'REALLY REAL this time' - report

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

Re: @M Gale

Wow, 3 downvotes for asking a question?!

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Dr. Mouse
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"we need to know your name, postcode, phone number and two valid email addresses to give you access to your own computer you bitches"

Do you need an Office 365 account to access your own computer?

I thought you only needed it to access Office 365, which is running on their computers.

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BBC in secret trial to see if you care about thing you plainly don't

Dr. Mouse
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First off, I like DAB. Have a receiver I bought a few years back in the kitchen, and it's great for listening to while I'm cooking.

The only other place I listen to radio is in the car. Herein lies the problem: I don't have a DAB in the car. I am unwilling to go out and buy another radio when FM suits me fine for this. When I'm driving, I don't much care what I'm listening to (within reason). It's just background noise to stop me getting bored on the motorway.

As for AM, I haven't listened to it since I built my first crystal set as a kid. However, I would hate to see it turned off, purely because I want top be able to teach my kids to build a crystal set. It was a fantastic learning experience with an immediately useful result. You wired it up, and you could listen to the radio. Something you built yourself was picking up professionally produced content, and it inspired me to learn HOW it did so. It was probably the first moment I was truly excited to learn, and inspired a lifelong love of electronics.

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LOHAN's cold heart beats beneath silicon breast

Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Up

I like this one. Nice and simple, and before launch you have to make sure LOHAN's BRA is on.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: But the important question is

You also need to put in the most expensive machine in the office.

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I, for one, would like to welcome our Android overlord

Dr. Mouse
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"That statement was made in the context of professional software development"

I understand that. However, everyone starts somewhere. I may not be the norm, but I have nearly always started learning things outside the workplace. For example, when I was told I would be responsible for a system which runs on a Solaris box, I took it upon myself to set up a Solaris server at home to learn about it (we already have Solaris guys, but I thought I should know). I did the same for VMS, and that's the same way I initially learned about Linux, Windows domains and C/C++ programming.

"I share a developer account with friends which costs me a princely sum of $10 a year."

How big a group? I must have incorrect info, as I thought the cost was in the hundreds per year (the figure that comes to mind is $1000).

"My wife would not appreciate me installing apps on her phone without her knowing, especially ones latching on to BOOT_COMPLETE permissions (spyware comes to mind)"

I didn't do that. I had no idea how to back then. This was a brand new phone, and a very simple app which, when run, played a tune and displayed a few pictures. Basically an animated birthday card.

Even so, there must be some element of trust in a relationship. For example, I host her email on my server. I could read through her email if I wanted. We discussed that when I set it up for her. She knows I wouldn't because I respect her privacy, just as she wouldn't go through my post when it hits the doormat.

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Dr. Mouse
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"Apple made iOS development easy."

From what I have heard (I admit that I haven't looked into it as I'm not too interested) there are significant barriers to development on iOS which don't appear on Android. If anyone can debunk these, I will be happy to hear it.

First off, I have been told you can only develop for iOS on MacOS. This is a huge barrier to me: I don't own a Mac, and would have no other use for it. For Android, on the other hand, I can develop on Windows, Linux, MacOS and others, using any hardware architecture which will run them. In fact, I could even develop directly on Android.

Second, in order to use the app you have just written, you must either pay big bucks to Apple to put them on the app store, or jailbreak your device. For Android, a simple checkbox in settings will allow me to sideload my app and test it.

Let's take a very simple, trivial example. A couple of years ago, I bought my girlfriend an Android phone for her birthday. I wanted to make it special, so I wrote a very simple birthday card app just for her. Having never written an application for Android before (or even used Java in any form other than little bits of JS), there was a learning curve, but I managed to put together this simple App and load it onto her phone ready for when she first turned it on.

If I wanted to do anything similar now that she owns an iPhone which she doesn't want to jailbreak (assuming what I have heard is true), I would need to;

a) buy a Mac (or build a hackintosh), and

b) pay ££££s to Apple to register it on the App Store.

So, to me, it is Google who have made development for Android (at least for the casual developer) easy.

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'I'd buy that for a dollar': Apple on Moto phone patents

Dr. Mouse
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Re: wipe your glasses, Mr. iFanboy

'"Apple is known to patent the obvious", thats not how patents work, you can't patent the obvious.'

Actually, looking at how the US patent system, in particular, works you can.

The patent office don't do any more than the bare minimum of checks to decide whether the patent is valid. They also don't have experts in every field working there. Their job is to make sure the paperwork is in order, do a quick search to see if the idea is already patented and then grant it.

Then, it is up to competitors to take the patent holder to court to try to have the patent quashed (or be taken to court and then try). The patent may be blindingly obvious to an expert in the field, or may be covered by prior art not noticed by the patent office.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: wait

"Perhaps a better solution is that when standards are written costs are worked out there and then for everyone who wants to use them and you but a licence for the entire standard?"

Yes, I completely agree that this would be the best way to deal with a standard. I believe this is done for many standards: You can buy, say, an MPEG-4 license and it covers all the patents involved.

However, this will not happen in all cases. It would force everyone to decide on relative values from the start, and would make it more difficult for large companies to negotiate better prices. Cross-licensing deals would be more difficult to implement, too. Basically, the big boys wouldn't want their power taken away from them, and the smaller players would be able to enter the game more easily, something none of the larger companies wants.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: wait

"I do agree it has to be a fixed $ amount per device, NOT a percentage of revenue since that would be quite unfair."

AFAIK the terms applied elsewhere are based on the profit or sale value of what's being sold. Therefore, this would be Discriminatory to offer them as a fixed amount to Apple, hence against FRAND.

The difference is, I think, that it is normally licensed at component level.

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Dr. Mouse
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Re: There never has been a redirect loosers

"I've always had to add an explicit /UK on the URL if I want the UK site"

Just wondering: do you have NoScript or similar installed?

I'm only asking, because some thing it did exist and some that it didn't, so the most probable answer is different settings.

I don't know, as I don't use any Apple products and have never visited the Apple website before this court order.

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US gov advised to SUE GOOGLE by FTC over patent trade wars

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Bollocks !

"Following your suggestion, the licensees (apple + MS in this case) would go to court... and wait a few years, releasing no products in the meantime."

This may be how my post came across, but it not how it was meant.

What I was trying to say was that the potential licensee should take court action as soon as the negotiations over the license broke down. Yes, sell your product in the meantime, but start the court action immediately.

If you do, it is basically an extension to the licensing negotiations. If not, you are abandoning your attempt to obtain a license, and are wilfully infringing.

AFAIK Apple, in this case did not do so. I may be wrong.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Bollocks !

SEPs must be licensed on FRAND terms. I completely agree with this. It is the only way to ensure standards are standard (when they incorporate patented technology).

This does not mean someone can use it without a license. The license should be granted, IMHO, before the product goes on sale (or at the very least be in the late stages of negotiation). Apple and MS both knew they needed a license for the patents. If they failed to get them, that is their problem and the case should be dealt with as any other patent case.

If the potential licensee thinks they are not being given FRAND terms (and negotiation fails), they should deal with that in the courts straight away. A little leeway can be granted in this, in that the company has tried to negotiate a FRAND license but disagrees with the terms. However, to (as Apple seem to have done) just go ahead means they are wilfully violating the patent without attempting to secure a license.

So, had Apple taken Motorola/Google to court straight away for failing to offer FRAND terms, they would not be the bad guys. As they didn't, they basically flipped the patent system off and ripped off Moto/Google's technology.

The same goes for any FRAND patent dispute: Don't just rip it off if negotiations fail, take them to court to ensure FRAND terms. If you don't, you are violating the patents. Simples.

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Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

Dr. Mouse
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Re: * DRAWER

'sharpest knife in the DRAWER'

Ooops! Sorry, my mistake. One day I will learn to re-read my comments before posting.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Bit harsh

"Jumping out of steel balls at 30,000+meters need balls of steel, but not huge numbers of brain cells"

I said this before the stunt.

There are 2* types of people involved in this sort of exercise.

The first includes all the scientists and engineers who did all the work making it possible. They have spent years developing the suit, capsule, instrumentation, planning the launch, simulating the descent, and continuously adjusting the equipment and parameters to ensure it all works. They are incredibly intelligent and are what we should all be striving to be (or encourage).

The second is the idiot who jumps out of a balloon from the edge of space who could, essentially, have been replaced by a well trained monkey**. Unfortunately, it is this second type that gets all the glory and most people want to be like him.

Yes, he has balls of steel. But he is obviously not the sharpest knife in the draw and to say that space exploration should stop and the money put into "saving the planet" proves it. It also marks him as a hypocrite: As others have already said, they spent huge sums on that stunt. Could that money have been better spent "saving the planet"?

Part of me thinks he said that because he thinks that's what he's supposed to say, just like the girls in beauty contests who say they want world peace.

*Yes, I know there are also the people who supply the money, but they aren't part of the project, just it's backers (and more often than not hold the project back). All that's needed from them is their money.

**No offence meant to the trained monkeys out there: I'm sure most of them have more sense than to hurl themselves out of an aircraft like that.

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British judge: Say you're sorry Apple... this time like you MEAN it

Dr. Mouse
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Re: 14 days?

There are two logical possibilities I can see with the 14 day request.

The first is that Apple want to have their legal department find another, more subtle way to word the statement without admitting they were wrong, working through legalities to push the order to it's limits. This could quite easily take their legal team 14 days, whereas 48 hours will force them to just comply with the order (or risk another trip back to court).

The second is that the bureaucracy within Apple requires so many checks and sign-offs that it really does take that long to comply if they follow company procedure.

I think the first is most likely.

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Universal Credit dole 'liable to be paralysed by IT cockups'

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Main concern

"Only way I know to do that is to make sure they have no time to do it."

There is one problem with that: For genuine job seekers, they need that time to look for work, prepare for interviews etc.

The problem for some is that they can't get the type of work they want in a reasonable time frame. Maybe they work in a specialised field in which the work has dried up. These types can be the least willing to branch out into new fields and the slowest to realise their job no longer exists. The push into full time, menial work would be enough to kick them into gear just at the time when they can't spend time looking for a job because they are forced to do full time menial work.

I have been there. Accepting that you cannot get a job in the field you want is heart wrenching. Even when you know it deep down, it is extremely difficult to take the plunge and apply (especially lower paid) other jobs, let alone take one (because when you first start applying for others, you still maintain the belief you will get what you want first).

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Dr. Mouse
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Understatement of the year!

"The report also mentioned that successive governments haven't had the greatest reputation when it comes to IT implementations"

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Google stiffs Samsung on price, now wireless charging too

Dr. Mouse
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Re: So who's selling the Nexus 4?

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_4_8gb

Although it's not out yet. It's some time this month I think.

Otherwise you can get ripped off by O2 on contract (see Reg article from earlier today).

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El Reg acquires wildly dangerous laser cannon (with lightsabre option)

Dr. Mouse
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Re: i want one

I don't think my bride-to-be will be too impressed if I blow my bonus (earmarked for the wedding) on one of these.

Hmm... Wife or frikin' laser?

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TalkTalk to Ofcom: 'Talented, lovely monopolist' BT must be reeled in

Dr. Mouse
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Re: dissapointed

Surely you mean Ministry of Fun?

Personally, I think that's still too long. I propose we start calling it Minifun (in line with current government policy direction).

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EC tells Euro rebels: Hike up your ebook tax to 15%, or else

Dr. Mouse
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Re: This is not a service

'So what does the "we must be green and save the planet" government do? Add VAT to the electronic version whilst keeping the dead-tree version tax free.'

This is because the govt is not interested in saving the planet. It is interested in appearing to be green, and using this as a method to justify additional revenue streams.

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US Copyright Office approves phone jailbreaking and video remixes

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Will someone take these out the back and shoot them?

"Just like you can't dig up the pavement outside your house (which you don't own but are allowed to use) and replace it with nice paisley paving slabs (which you do own)."

This is a very flawed analogy.

A better one (IMHO) is this:

If I buy a novel, I own the physical book (i.e. the paper, cover etc.) but I don't own the words on the page (specifically the right to copy it). This is equivalent to a smartphone: I own all the hardware, but may not own the software and the right to copy it.

If I then took the novel and somehow erased the pages, removing all words (like painting the pages with tip-ex) I could legitimately write my own story in there. I could even write a copy of another novel released under a license permitting such (or public domain) into it. That is my choice: The only part with a restriction is the content, the story, which I have removed.

The same can be said for a smartphone, tablet or games console. When I have paid for a device, I own the hardware. If I wish to erase the software on it and replace it with my own software, that is my choice.

I do realise Jailbreaking could be seen differently, however. It is generally either modifying the existing software or replacing it with a modified version. In the first case, you are probably breaking the license agreement you have for the software (not saying I agree with such a term, but it is likely that it exists in your license agreement). In the second case, you are probably installing a pirated version of software.

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EDF: We'll raise bills 11% - but only 2% is due to energy costs!

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Comprehension Fail, Lewis

"I agree but you don't explain why this should happen"

Sorry about that. Yes, you have explained exactly why.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Comprehension Fail, Lewis

"It is quite possible that "the other 9 percent" is mostly down to the transmission and distribution charges."

But why are transmission and distribution costs rising? A major reason is renewables. It would make little sense for it to be any other reason. Distribution costs per unit of energy is higher for small, distributed renewable generation, often in remote locations, is always going to be higher. Without them, we should be seeing distribution costs falling.

I am all for renewable energy generation. The way it is being paid for, however, is not fair or sustainable. I know many people who are already on the bread line, have reduced their energy consumption to the minimum and insulated their houses. Turning on the heating has become a luxury they can't afford. Having a hot shower is a luxury. Even washing clothes is becoming more and more of a problem.

If we are going to subsidise renewables (and I think we should, along with building new nuclear and encouraging shale gas and other alternatives), it should be done through the tax system, not by whacking the cost onto energy bills.

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APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Called it

"They're complying exactly with the ridiculous demand the court imposed."

Whether you, or Apple, or anybody else thinks it is ridiculous, it is what the court have told them to do. By making it obvious how much they disagree within the court-mandated post, they are showing contempt for the courts decision.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Called it

"Or maybe they'll piss the judge off enough for him to pull them up for contempt of court"

I think they are treading a very fine line. They are just about complying with the letter of the ruling, maybe.

Whether or not it is legally "contempt of court", they are showing contempt for the court.

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Facebook's stock rally may be shortlived: Small advertisers enraged

Dr. Mouse
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Maybe I don't use FB enough, but I hadn't noticed this.

For businesses, I believe this is an acceptable state of affairs. Why should FB allow them to advertise for free?

For groups (like small, unsigned bands) and similar, I think it's a step too far. I think the above logic could be applied to them, but they won't be doing it, and those who loose out will be the fans. I "like" my favourite local bands' pages so I can keep up with their latest gigs. If this is happening, I could easily be missing updates from them.

For individuals: WTF? Get lost!

I think this will signal the slow death of Facebook. I hope so. I have been sucked into it, only signing up so I could see pics from parties I went to. It's more difficult to leave when you use it as much as I do to keep in touch with friends, but hopefully it will die and I won't have any reason to use it anymore.

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Raspberry Pi SoC drivers now fully open source

Dr. Mouse
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Re: err @Will Godfrey

"All the ARM-side code does is tell the GPU to encode/decode a particular frame of video data."

In other words, it is a driver. A piece of code which abstracts an interface between the "computer" and some hardware.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Well, um, yes.

Yes, normally devices just include the cost of all the codec licenses as part of the product cost. But at £2.40 for MPEG-2 and £1.20 for VC-1, what are you complaining about? It's obvious that the organisation couldn't just bundle these with the device. Assuming they are not profiting from these licenses, it's 15% of the device cost. But even for both, £3.60 hardly breaks the bank, and puts the cost of the board for multimedia purposes at less than £30.

I'd rather have the choice. Some projects I am using the Pi for need no graphics ability, so I save £3.60 on them. Some do need it, but I still end up with a suitable board for less than £40 (inc power supply, SD card and other sundries).

The only thing that the licenses get in the way of are mass-production setups. It requires individual modification of each SD-card image. However, even this can be automated: A simple boot script could load in the appropriate license number from a central server.

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Amazon ships Kindle Fire HD, Paperwhite to Brits

Dr. Mouse
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Re: No Kindle HD for me today.

"I swear, if people discussed things down the pub the way they discuss things on the internet, there would be two or three fights every night."

Two or three? That would be less than normal at a pub local to me! (One that I very rarely enter, for that reason)

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Oldest unreadable alphabet yields to 'tablet' computer

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Translation

"Dear lord. It IS obvious."

http://xkcd.com/593/

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LG Vu 5in Android phone-tablet review

Dr. Mouse
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Re: "The Vu doesn’t have a MicroSD card slot ..."

"However, for the past year I haven't removed the microSD card from my phone because WiFi transfer is fast enough for pictures and music files."

I don't think I have ever removed the SD card from any of my phones to transfer data to it.

However, I still don't want a phone without a card slow, because:

a) With a card I can upgrade when I want. Without, handset upgrade time.

b) With a card, I can upgrade handset and not have to copy all my data over. Without, there's a lot of work to move the data over

c) With a card, if the card fails I just buy a new one (£15?). With internal memory only, I have to buy a new phone (£350).

d) With a card, I can pop the card out to back up the data quickly. Without, backing up several GB over Wifi/USB is slooow, and over Wifi normally fails before it's complete.

A separate memory card is just more flexible.

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WHITE WHALE spent 4 years trying to tell us something, then stopped

Dr. Mouse
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Not surprising!

"After about four years, NOC’s speech-like behavior subsided."

If you tried to talk to someone for 4 years and they ignored you, wouldn't you give up too?

That's worse than BT's customer service team!!

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Everything Everywhere prices up UK 4G

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Re: You think the 4G network has seperate infrastructutre...

"Not that this should matter because only a complete twunt would use 4G at these prices."

Sounds like the majority of iPhone users then!

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Kindle Touch bites the dust

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Shame on Amazon managers!

I hate agreeing with Anonymous Cowards, but this one is right:

'The idea of the "proper" kindles is battery life and clear text'

The e-ink Kindles are ebook readers. They are fantastic for the purpose they are designed for: easy to read, and battery life measured in days of constant reading. They do nothing else well, but they aren't supposed to.

I love my Kindle. Before I owned one, I slagged ereaders off. I still prefer a paperback, but the convenience of a kindle, being able to carry so many books, and how close it comes to the readability of a real book is fantastic.

I have used it, while on holiday, to browse the interwebs, and also to play music, but it doesn't do them very well. To be honest, I don't care. It is the essence of simplicity, doing one job incredibly well, and a few other ancillary functions to a (barely) acceptable level. It is actually the first device I haven't even wanted to jailbreak/upgrade/modify.

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McKinnon case is NOT a precedent – says his own lawyer

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Correct - This is NOT a US case :: Britain should protect its own

"Extradition should only be for foreigners hiding from their own governments."

IANAL so I don't know the if the legal wording of what I am about to say is correct (in fact I am almost certain it will be wrong).

The principal of extradition is sound. If you, for example, go to a foreign country, kill someone, and come back home before the cops catch you, then I agree that you should be extradited. It's not just "for foreigners hiding from their own governments".

The problem is that, with advances in technology, there are situations where you may be bound by foreign law even though you have never been there. In regulated industries, e.g. finance, this has been the case for a while. AFAIK, people in our finance dept could be prosecuted in the US for certain things, as our parent co is US, and we must abide by certain US financial rules.

The McKinnon case can be seen like this, as he was (if you take the US govt's stance) effectively attacking the US military. However, we have laws in our own country to cover this, and IMHO he should be protected by his government, not thrown into the clutches of a foreign power known throughout the world for their twisted view of "justice" for foreigners.

In the O'Dwyer case, I can see no justification whatsoever for extradition. Nothing he did "touched" the US: He was never in the US, he didn't use US servers. Then only contact with the US was US citizens using his site. This is more akin to them coming to this country, O'Dwyer telling them about a market stall selling counterfeit DVDs, them buying one and taking it back to the US. The jurisdiction in this case is clearly with the UK.

What needs to be clarified, worldwide, is jurisdiction for internet-based cases. Maybe an international court with technically-literate judges to decide purely the matter of jurisdiction. At the moment, it is a mess.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Err...

"Let's say you were stupid enough to go out and leave your house unlocked. I walk in and have a good old rummage through your smalls drawer...no crime there the? After all, it's your own stupid fault for leaving the door open."

That's what she said, too. I have to agree in part: I would feel violated, as well as embarrassed. However, I can't see that the cops would do much about it unless damage was done or something was stolen. It is a violation of your privacy, and invasion of your home, but not a "serious crime".

In McKinnons case, the analogy should be extended to include him putting some post-it notes around the house telling you to remember to lock your door in future.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Correct - This is NOT a US case

"My position is that as he is a UK Citizen, living in the UK, with servers housed outside the US, he should be tried in the UK... What we are seeing is an American justice system that is attempting to impose itself on foreign nationals living in their who country. The implications of this is that we are all now subject to US law, and the courts are interpreting this as superseding UK law."

My position exactly. The O'Dwyer case is an even more extreme example of this than the McKinnon case.

O'Dwyer didn't even touch US servers, so how they can claim jurisdiction is beyond me! There are only 2 links to the US in his case: US citizens used content linked to by his site to break the law (not O'Dwyers fault) and some of the content he linked to broke copyright held by US corps (which should not be his problem, IMHO).

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Not a precedent, but at least it's a start

"it's against the human rights of the white guy on the autistic spectrum to extradite him. This is just after sending some similarly diagnosed people who's names make them sound like immigrants (boo, hiss) to the USA, where this is somehow not against their human rights."

They were two very different cases.

I do not necessarily agree with the decision to extradite the other two (I don't know enough about their specific case) but you cannot say the 2 cases were the same!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Err...

I completely agree. I feel strongly about this situation, but most people don't even know these cases exist.

The McKinnon case highlighted this to me. When I said to my girlfriend that I thought it was completely wrong to extradite him, she told me she though he should be, and laid out the case as brought by the US. She was then shocked when I highlighted details about what he had done, the lack of security on the US systems etc.

The vast majority of the population do not have the technological understanding of these cases, or the interest to learn. I have a feeling the politicians are the same. Those of us with the knowledge to understand them are a minority, and even then not all who do understand share the same viewpoint.

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Final decision by Home Sec on McKinnon extradition due today

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Not consequential

"I think by posting messages on compromised computers about how piss poor the security was shows that he was aware of what he was doing, and who he was doing it to."

I actually think this is more helpful to the defence than the prosecution.

He left messages telling them that he found it reasonably trivial to break in to their supposedly top security systems (at least that's what they are telling everyone). If he could do that, on his own as a "hobby", then the Chinese/Russian/<insert other govt the US are paranoid about> with their resources would have no trouble at all. He left them a clear warning that they needed to increase security.

To me, this boils down to semi-ethical hacking. Yes, he broke in and looked though some documents, but he did not cause damage and warned them that their security was inadequate.

The US are pushing this because they are embarrassed that it happened. They are making out that serious damage was done (I suspect the monetary "damage" they talk about was spent upgrading their security). They want to paint him as a terrorist, which is how he will be treated if put on trial in the US, in order to cover up their own security blunders.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Cruel and unusual punishment

"He is accused of hacking into computers owned by the US government and located on US soil so it is the US government that is bringing the charges."

This is a very slippery slope.

As far as I am concerned, everything he did, he did in the UK. He committed a crime in the UK. He never left UK jurisdiction. Therefore, he should be tried in the UK.

If this does not apply, then we enter a grey area every time we go on the internet. Even if you are accessing the website of a UK company, the site may be based in the US (or indeed anywhere in the world). It would be reasonable to expect UK law to apply, but if the server is located in the US, does US law apply? Are you going to be extradited? Where does it end? What if you post a comment on a UK site which a group of US citizens find offensive? Similarly with other countries in the world.

Simple rule: If you are in the UK, UK law should apply. If you are in the US, US law should apply. If you are in China, Chinese law should apply. Wherever you are, you should be subject to the local law. Otherwise, how the hell are you supposed to know which legal system you are operating under?

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Femto fail: Vodafone's Sure Signal gets a bit shaky again

Dr. Mouse
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Problems

There is one way I can see to improve Femtocell viability: Dedicate a frequency block to them, and set up a standard interconnect protocol.

This way, Femtocells could be produced which are usable by all networks, and connect back to the relevant operator over a standard protocol (preferably which all operators are forced to make available). This would be similar to roaming. This would make larger local cell deployments more viable too: A shopping center, for example, could install some of these, which allow users from all operators to connect.

At the moment, all these miniature cells have to be tied to a single operator, mainly because they own the frequencies. Open up a frequency block for miniature cell use, with restrictions on power output etc. similar to Wifi, and you open up the market in a big way.

Do I expect this to happen? Nope. But I can dream of a future where everyone tries to work for the common good...

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New British tax-cuts-for-patents scheme criticised

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Lesson learnt

"If they only have to pay 10% tax here then the UK becomes a tax haven and all those companies will shuffle the profits earned in other countries to the UK."

I was thinking the same thing. I work for a UK subsidiary of a global semiconductor manufacturer. We have plenty of patents (REAL patents, which we use) so this should help us anyway. However, I can see our parent company trying to shuffle more of the profit into us to reduce the tax bill, including trying to incorporate the patents into more products somehow. All in all, my employer should benefit, which will hopefully be good for me too...

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4K vs OLED: and the winner is...

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Ummn

"Sometimes I feel the only way to enjoy shows is to switch all higher brain functions off completely."

That's exactly what I use TV for: to switch my brain off. If I want cerebral stimulation, I have books and other material which does the job better than TV ever could.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: First question

"Its as obvious as the nose on my face"

I can easily tell if I look, but if I am just channel flipping and come across something I want to watch, I wouldn't be able to tell you afterwards if it was on the HD channel.

There are some things which make it more obvious. For example, the score shown on sports broadcasts is obviously sharper on HD. I also believe that Sky deliberately degrade the quality on SD channels to make the difference stand out (subjective opinion based on flipping between Sky and Freeview, Freeview looked clearer, although this was quite a while ago). But for most films and series on TV (ones which aren't just upsampled from older recordings) I don't notice.

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Assange chums must cough up £93,500 bail over embassy lurk

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Why...

"Is it not the case that the "authorities" can revoke the inviolateness of an embassy"

Yes. AFAIK they can just "close" the embassy down. They diplomatic staff still have immunity (at least for as long as it takes to get out of the country, I don't know if it's more than that), but anyone else would no longer be protected. Also, I believe the UK has a law saying that they can go in without closing the embassy.

The reason they haven't (yet) done so is all down to international relations, not just with Ecuador. Many would see it, legal or not, as an assault on embassies in general, and it could put British diplomats at risk. They would need a much better reason than arresting someone to deport him, and are more likely to try every diplomatic avenue available before doing so.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Dr. Mouse
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"Whatever would we do with all the pint glasses?"

Keep them. Then we could actually get the beer we pay for with a head, rather than having to sacrifice beer for the head.

I love it at beer festivals. Get half pints in a pint glass, and they give you half a pint of beer plus a head on top. A nice, large, frothy head is great to drink the beer through, and you don't mind because you are getting what you paid for. Similarly, when I drink my own homebrew, there's no "topping up". Plenty of froth, leave it to settle a bit and drink.

IMHO all beer should be served in oversized glasses with a measurement mark. Otherwise, you always get less than you pay for (either the head is taking up beer space, or the beer is flat: Either way it's not what you are paying for).

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