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* Posts by NumptyScrub

358 posts • joined 18 Mar 2010

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Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

NumptyScrub
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Re: If you found this surprising then ...

The UK? We're a constitutional monarchy. It would be hard to see how would could be defined as anything else but an oligarchy, really :)

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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

NumptyScrub
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Re: Does Apple have a short memory, or what?

quote: "Apple can charge whatever they like for stuff they manufacture and sell themselves."

But what they are currently doing is talking to network operators regarding the price those operators will charge, are they not?

If all that is happening is that operators are bargaining Apple down on their volume pricing then all is fine. "Our MSRP is $X and we'll sell to you for $Y" is perfectly legitimate business.

If Apple are attempting to influence the end-price of their product via the operators, however, then that starts to sound an awful lot like price fixing. "Our MSRP is $X and you must sign this contract agreeing to never sell our product below $Y or we refuse to sell any to you" would usually be considered less than legitimate. Apple can choose what price they will sell to Vodafone at, but Vodafone should have free reign in deciding what price they will offer it to consumers at. Any attempt by Apple to influence that end price is an attempt at price fixing, IMO :)

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NumptyScrub
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Pint

quote: "Over 24 months, compared to a similar £29/month iPhone contract, this seems to save me a shade under £430, money that I shall spend on beer. That's two years of FREE BEER for not using an iPhone!"

That has to be one of the most compelling arguments I have yet seen for considering the "non-premium" mobile device market. Motorola would do well to add that to their marketing repertoire ^^;

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NumptyScrub
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Re: I think the article is wrong

quote: "If they can arbitrarily increase the price of the iPhone 6 just because it is a bit larger than the 5s, why didn't they do it with the 5 when it was a bit larger than the 4s?"

Fear. They weren't sure if there would be the same product uptake with a change in form factor, especially when the size of Samsung's contemporary devices was being lambasted as "too big" by a lot of their target demographic.

However the 5 and 5s sold like the proverbial hot cakes, so a price increase is inevitable; it's difficult to convince someone your device is orders of magnitude "better" than the last one unless it is also significantly more expensive. Betcha that the increase is claimed to be down to the sapphire glass, even though they are apparently negotiating the price (rather than simply stating it).

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Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS

NumptyScrub
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Re: Why not use multiple factor authentication

I employ a crack team of highly trained medical professionals to also perform blood and DNA testing, alongside the facial recognition, voice analysis, fingerprint, iris and retina scanners, all feeding in to the security guard who presses the "open door" button for my volcano lair.

Note that in this scenario, your PayPal password (or the crypto cert used by the phone to authenticate to PayPal, after it assesses the biometric data) is the "open door" button, which is still your single point of failure ^^;

Much like placing a 50cm thick steel door with multiple locking mechanisms on a vault whose walls are made of brick; any smart criminal will go for the weakest link, so you need to make that highly secure door the weakest link.

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NumptyScrub
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Re: Lizard People?

quote: "So, do you have a carer, or some other responsible person, who takes care of you? If so, they need to be sacked."

What is this I don't even

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Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report

NumptyScrub
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Re: Taking a Walk on the WWWild

It's likely a continuation of the time-honoured "if you don't understand, you're obviously not supposed to know" theme. I suspect there are kernels of truth in there, possibly hiding from the Colonels of Truth (@MiniTrue)

Full disclosure: I have seen more than one completely coherent post from amanfromMars, so I know there is definitely sentience there, despite appearances ;)

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Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

NumptyScrub
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Re: 1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000

quote: "· CO2 is a greenhouse gas the effect of which increases with its concentration in the atmosphere.

· The concentration of CO2 has increased from about 315ppm to 400ppm in the past 50 years.

· This has resulted in less heat being returned to space, ergo the planet is warming up.

I regard this stuff as very basic physics. What about you, Squander Two?"

Maybe you can help then, since I don't see a reply from you on my earlier post: here are calculations of the Phanerozioc CO2 concentrations and a temperature graph of the same timescales. I'm not seeing the correlation between CO2 and global temperature that I would expect to, especially if the effect of CO2 concentrations on global temperatures is actually such "basic physics".

Could you shed any light on that? Is the correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global temperature only demonstrably so valid for a mere 200 years, and far less valid for the last 450 million?

quote: "If you want to go on longer timescales then those show warming too

1980-2010 was warmer than 1970-2000

How about this: 1980-2010 was significantly warmer than 9200BC-9170BC (source). Global warming is a proven fact, we're all going to die the planet is trying to kill us. Case closed, no anthropogenic CO2 even needed.

Of course 1980-2010 is also significantly colder than 80,000,000BC-79,999,970BC (source). However it is also true to say that 100,000,000BC-50,000,000BC, 50 million years give or take, would appear to have a significantly higher average temp than the last 50 million years (50,000,000BC-2014). Using those (contiguous, same size) ranges, we're in a global cooling phase. Or using an overlap, 70Mya-20Mya is warmer than 50Mya to 0Mya, showing an "obvious" cooling trend over the last 70 million years.

Statistics is complicated ^^;

Full disclosure: I agree that we are in a warming trend. I agree that CO2 is good at absorbing and radiating in the IR band. I agree that energy policies need a good fucking shake up, and that better renewables and less pollution are a good idea. I agree with pretty much everything that proponents of CAGW want to do, but I do wish that some people would stop providing shaky conclusions, questionable statistics or appeals to emotion and labelling them as "science". Especially when it doesn't take an awful lot of effort to find base data that can be interpreted in a different way, or that can be manipulated to downright contradict some of the conclusions touted as "obvious" or "established" by people who have a good point but a bad way of getting it across.

And yes, I include myself in that; it's just too tempting to drop to the lowest common denominator sometimes, even though I know I shouldn't. Sorry ^^;

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NumptyScrub
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Re: The fat lady has sung

quote: "I believe the scientific explanation for that is the Earth's tilt meant the northern hemisphere was angled more towards the Sun."

Since we're talking ~12kya to present (the Holocene being that time range), does that mean that Earth's axial tilt might be involved in the current 12,000 year warming trend? We need to get axial tilting banned, or at least heavily taxed, and ensure that axial untilting companies get government subsidies to help their business model :)

CAtGW - Catastrophic Axial-tilt Global Warming?

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NumptyScrub
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Re: The fat lady has sung

quote: "This is why I don't believe in Evolution or Gravity, after all, they are just theories.

And earthquakes are just God having a sneeze presumably since Tectonic plate theory is just, um, a theory."

Do the current models, upon which all current economic policy is made, and all catastrophic predictions are being made, support the ability of the planet to be colder than it is today with 4000ppmv (or more!) atmospheric CO2 and a sun running at 95% luminosity?

That's all I'm asking. It is obvious that we are slowly getting warmer. It is obvious that this has happened before (assuming the maths done by paleoclimatology to be robust). What is most definitely not obvious (to me, at least) is that without us being on the planet it would not be warming. Given those previously quoted estimates of conditions up to 450Mya, it is also obvious to me that either: paleoclimatologists are full of shit, and know nothing about climate (possible but IMO unlikely), or: atmospheric CO2 as the climate devil is being overplayed deliberately as a political tool (far more likely IMO).

As in, tell the public "shit guys it's only gonna get warmer, you'll need to ditch those beachfront houses because they'll be under water in a couple hundred years and there's nothing we can do" will piss people off, and you are not going to get elected. The people getting elected are the ones that will say "shit guys, it's getting warmer but I can fix this! Vote me in and I can stop all this warming so the planet stays at just the right temperature for ever!".

Potentially I am the only person coming to this conclusion using this data set, but it's a pretty logical conclusion IMO. The Earth has had a "climate" for all of it's 4.5 billion years, ignoring all but the last 200 is not scientific. Including even just the last 0.5 billion gives you a more complete picture, and doing so calls into question a lot of the "climate facts" being fed to us by politicians, especially the "fact" that all current warming is "obviously" anthropogenic. IMO it's "obviously" not as the last million years have apparently been the coldest "on record" for 300 million years. Using that background, try this phrase out for size: "the last decade has been the hottest on record in the last hundred years, showing that we seem to be rising out of the million-year cold spell. Global temperatures over the next few hundred thousand years are expected to rise up to 2C, affecting polar glaciation and seal levels accordingly."

I may well be a deluded idiot, but my delusions fit with current climate "facts", and are more pessimistic than most CAGW proponents. I only really differ in that I'm pointing the finger at nature as the warming culprit, rather than anything specifically anthropogenic.

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NumptyScrub
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Re: The fat lady has sung

quote: "That graph doesn't go up to today. In the last 100 years CO2 concentration has risen to 400ppm. Check that against the y-axis (edit: wikipedia has it graphed http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png)"

Wait, are you stating that the CO2 concentrations found in the ice actually exactly mirror atmospheric, rather than simply being proportional to atmospheric? I was under the impression that the amount of CO2 dissolved in oceanic water was proportional, and that those figures therefore were not indicative of actual atmospheric concentration :/

quote: "450Mya the Sun was much fainter."

Best I can come up with is this thingy which at the 4By mark (0.5Bya) would suggest an internal temperature of basically the same, luminosity of about 95% of current and a radius of ~98% of current. So about 5% less thermal energy hitting the planet (assuming luminosity and IR output co-relate), with around 1000% the CO2 (assuming 4000ppmv as the low estimate).

It would have to be a very complicated equation to get "colder than now" using 0.95 times the solar irradiance and 10.0 times the atmospheric CO2 (fag packet maths suggests the effect of CO2 on global temperature then, should be around 9.5 times more than the predicted effect of atmospheric CO2 today, at 1.0 times the irradiance and 1.0 times the atmospheric CO2). I'm perfectly willing to concede the equation to be complex (I have no idea what it actually is according to the current models), but it would need the CO2 related part to be a slightly different magnitude than the picture painted by current climate science, which suggests CO2 concentrations as one of the main factors for warming. Or for solar irradiance 500Mya to actually be significantly lower than the suggested 95% on that graph, for some reason, e.g. IR output has ramped up significantly in the last few million years, but that would make the Sun the major factor for global warming rather than a "mere" 400ppmv atmospheric CO2 :/

Science is complicated ^^;

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NumptyScrub
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Re: The fat lady has sung

quote: "And yet atmospheric CO2 passed 400 ppm for the first time in 3 million years - just as was predicted by scientists almost 50 years ago. Or would you like to doubt direct atmospheric measurements?"

Err, if you have direct atmospheric measurements from 3 million years ago I'd love to see them :)

Also, from memory the planet is >4 billion years old, so 3 million is less than 0.1% of the planet's lifetime; for the first billion years (?) it was covered in volcanoes and magma, like some sort of planet acne.

According to this nice graph 300 million of the last 303 million years we have had more atmospheric CO2 than today. Maybe. I could be reading it wrong, although that spike at ~450Mya seems to indicate more than 4000ppmv, or 10 times more than now? It also doesn't dovetail that well with this temperature graph of a similar time period; ~450Mya we were in a cold slump with >4000ppmv CO2, and again from 300Mya to today, temperature seems to be at odds with the CO2 concentrations, with the high temperature points seeming to be at the lower (sub 1000ppmv) CO2 concentrations.

Obviously paleontologists are unfamiliar with CO2 being such an important greenhouse gas or they would have revised those graphs by now ^^;

Also I quite like this one because it looks quite like a cardiograph. It does seem to suggest that ice core readings would indicate that we got warmer at the poles 120Kya than today though, and the CO2 graph looks like it had more in the ice from 320Kya ago than today as well.

I have no doubt either I'm reading them wrong, or that the data is wrong though, because it all seems so at adds with the doom and gloom of current climate science. We know today that we're on a rollercoaster ride to thermal hell (literally) and that it is all human's fault. Paleontologists (or paleoclimatologists?) would seem to think that this happens by itself on a recurring cycle ^^;

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

NumptyScrub
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quote: "I know of a lot of geologists who would *love* to know what mineral could withstand Martian sandblasting and still remain reflective.

I'd pay real money for it, get my glasses made of it so they won't scratch or chip."

My first recommendation would be to try out crystalline Carbon; it tends be be exceedingly expensive, but is also exceedingly abrasion resistant. Unfortunately the refractive index coupled with the material hardness may cause some shaping issues for corrective lenses, so I'll make no guarantees they won't end up looking like the ends of bottles, or have optical defects making them unsuitable for prolonged use. :(

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Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

NumptyScrub
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Unhappy

Re: 'and if you need sideloading keys, you can purchase an unlimited number for around $100.'

quote: "The problem is the concept of

"Please sir, would you possibly allow me to run my own code that I have written on my operating system that I bought, which is running on my hardware that I bought, please? please? pretty please?""

The problem is that you have not purchased an operating system. You have purchased a license to use the operating system, pursuant to the terms and conditions you agreed to via the EULA. These are not the same thing at all.

We all know nobody ever reads EULAs, but that is why they put clauses like "you agree not to sideload without our express authorisation" in there knowing full well that you'll be clicking Yes without realising. The only way you'll get them to stop is by voting with your wallet.

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

NumptyScrub
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Re: The tech world is failing to reach those users who just don't care....

quote: "If you're doing any kind of banking from any kind of Windows you're screwed anyway."

Fuck. Excuse me for a second, I need to run upstairs and talk to the Finance department... ^^;

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NumptyScrub
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Re: I agree entirely...

quote: "OK, so you sack someone. Then there is a tribunal, and their representation asks the following: "Is it true that your business communications depend on an obsolete version of Microsoft Windows for which there are no security updates and no functioning antivirus products?"

The answer will not go down very well, will it?"

Depends on the answer.

"My current business communications use enterprise standard products as are currently in use by the UK Government, and we are in the process of migrating to new systems with improved security. I would also like to draw your attention to the employment contract signed by the employee, specifically the "use of computer equipment" clauses which codify the expectations of vigilance, and diligence, required by employees when dealing with suspicious emails or files. Expectations which this employee failed to meet in this circumstance."

If you have contractual terms covering use (and misuse) of corporate computing resources, then it is reasonable to expect employees to adhere to those terms, is it not? Failing to adhere to those terms would be expected to trigger a disciplinary hearing, the result of which could potentially be dismissal, correct?

I'm tempted to invoke a driving analogy involving traffic lights being down (aka reduced security from XP hitting end of life) where drivers are actually expected to be more careful when crossing the junction than if the lights were working. It would make this user sound like one who just barreled through the junction regardless endangering life and limb, and we all know computer malware is nowhere near that dangerous, and that anyway computer security is strictly the responsibility of the IT department, not the end users. :)

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Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'

NumptyScrub
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Re: Experian -- a disgrace in a democracy.

quote: "You are right - they have no implicit right. You gave them the right when you signed the loan application (you did read the small print right?). If you don't want them to hold data on you don't take out any credit."

You are indeed correct; I should have decided to save up enough money to purchase my house outright rather than deal with these pesky credit agreements. :)

It's all very well pointing out that people have a choice, but "bend over and accept or GTFO" is not much of a choice. Especially if every single organisation offering the service you are interested in offers exactly the same choice.

"By living in the USA you agree to monitoring by the NSA. If you do not agree to this monitoring, please leave the USA. By leaving the USA you agree to monitoring by the NSA. If you continue to exist, we'll assume you are happy to be monitored. Information gathered by the NSA may be forwarded to select partners in order to improve the services offered by the NSA."

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Greenpeace reveals WORLD'S FILTHIEST CLOUDS – and the cleanest may shock you

NumptyScrub
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Re: Apple being 'economical' with the truth?

quote: "Well if we can't attribute it to the sunshine, and obviously there's insufficient power transmission in the moonlight, perhaps we can attribute it to the boogie."

Good times, man, good times 8)

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NumptyScrub
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Re: Shut the right one down

quote: "It is ironic that they are so focused on particulars of energy and ignoring the big picture."

What's even more ironic is the dichotomy of their views on nuclear power, and solar power. Especially amusing is the look on their faces when you point out "sunlight" is radiation emitted from an unsupervised, unshielded nuclear reaction. Cue all sorts of attempts to rationalise solar as "good" but all other nuclear as "bad" ;)

I probably shouldn't, but sometimes it's just too tempting ^^;

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

NumptyScrub
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Re: @ frank ly - Am I the only one ....

quote: "The standard-A connectors defined in the USB 2.0 spec are rated for 1.5A. Since hosts, hubs and USB chargers all use standard-A connectors, the maximum current that can be drawn from any of these devices is 1.5A.

Thus, a dedicated charger is required to current limit at some current less than 1.5A, (or IDCHGR)"

That's fine for the Standard A end of the cable, but the other one is a Micro B that plugs into the phone. Hunting around shows 10W at 5V specified for Micro B in the power delivery, but also specifically mentions "PD aware" cables.

So I guess I am asking; Why would the PD spec mention 10W at 5V (which is 2A IIRC) when the standard A connector is apparently only rated to 1.5A, and how do you determine if a cable is "PD aware" to know that running 2A down it won't damage it?

quote: "I guess then it's fortunate that these matters tend to be handled by appropriately qualified boffins instead of opinionated members of the general public."

Qualified boffins are also members of the general public, and members of the general public can also be qualified. Admittedly my degree is not in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, but it is a related discipline, and I understand enough to refuse to accept "well they know better than you do" without any empirical data to back that up.

I've already learnt that USB power delivery specifications seem to be slightly at odds with each other today, I'm eager to see what else I can learn :)

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NumptyScrub
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Re: @ frank ly - Am I the only one ....

quote: "The present USB standard limits the current draw to 100mA until the connection is confirmed through enumeration."

For USB 2.0 it also limits the maximum current to 500mA (5 steps of 100mA each), however I am sat looking at chargers supplied with phones that actually specify 1000mA or even 1500mA at 5V. IIRC if a hub device (charger) ties data to ground (or was it high?) some end devices will switch to "charge mode" and just try to draw as much current as possible.

Apparently consumers care more about getting their phone to charge quickly than not setting their domicile on fire, and manufacturers are more than happy to oblige :(

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Where the HELL is my ROBOT BUTLER?

NumptyScrub
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Re: maybe

quote: "How long would a palm pilot last if you connected to a modern battery from a note 3? Most of the year I'd bet."

Actually, no. The Note 3 apparently has a 3200mAh battery, which certainly sounds like a lot. However a standard alkaline AAA is apparently 1200mAh, and the Pilot used 2 AAAs (or 2x 1200mAh). So the Pilot was designed for about 75% of the total battery capacity that the current Note 3 uses.

The major recent battery advances are in the (lack of) memory and tolerance to changing duty cycles in rechargeable batteries, not necessarily in total capacity.

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Apple: You're a copycat! Samsung: This is really about Google, isn't it?

NumptyScrub
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Re: Meh

quote: "It's not too facetious to point out, that by definition, Apple were the first with the iPhone and the iPad and you have already appear to have agreed it is the cake baked with the ingredients, not the list of ingredients themselves."

First with what? Smartphone? Not by a long shot. Touchscreen on a phone? Nope. Phone which has a touchscreen which takes up almost all of the real estate? Err, not even that, sorry.

This lawsuit by Apple is over 6 specific ingredients (patents), so since we both agree about the cake analogy, I'm guessing we both agree that it's a pointless waste of time for Apple to be doing this, and especially galling that they are demanding $2 billion for ingredients?

quote: "or because of the significant fork in the smartphone design path brought by the iPhone?"

I think you mean the significant design fork brought about by the LG Prada (see link above), although I understand that since Apple harp on and on about their design being a "game changer" and "first" and "anyone making products that look vaguely like ours must be copying us" that you could be forgiven for believing them. :)

quote: "I'm a little at a loss as to what your point is except to deny the important role the iPhone played."

My point is (and always has been) that the decidedly important role(s) that the iPhone played were in popularisation and market penetration. The iPhone was a well rounded iteration on release, but I certainly wouldn't call it a particular innovation, either design-wise or in a technical aspect, given that it used off the shelf ingredients and was itself the subject of some serious "copying" scrutiny on release.

You will note that Apple have since received a design patent on the iPhone even though it was initially the subject of a potential lawsuit over the design. Feel free to use that to contend that it somehow confers retroactive credibility or legitimacy to Apple. Personally I'll be viewing that particular USPTO decision in a slightly different light, alongside the slide-to-unlock and bouncing-list decisions... :/

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NumptyScrub
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Re: Meh

quote: "@Jason 5, selective memory, since the Apple Newton was out first, which was, oh a tile based haptic touch-screen device released 1993 when the Palm Pilot was released 1997."

Of course, the Newton (and the Palm) could neither make or receive GSM phone calls or SMS messages, so neither can be called "smartphones" in that respect. The IBM Simon is (barely) a smartphone and was released in 1994, or you could go for the Nokia 9000 released in 1996 as a better PDA+phone mashup (source).

quote: "The "who was earliest" game is a silly one anyway. All modern tech products have components with considerable lineage which have been around in combination with other devices for many years. It's all about the cake that is baked with the ingredients, not the ingredients themselves."

Indeed, yet Apple enthusiasts almost always immediately claim Apple were the "first" with the iPhone and iPad when they demonstrably were not. When pressed for details of first-ness, they tend to switch to "game changers" as Apple's USP, and when challenged regarding the details of game-changing-ness, normally "touchscreen" or "multi-touch" are mentioned at this point.

Apple are exceedingly good at letting other companies do the risky business of sounding out a brand new market, and then they come barreling in once profitability is established. They are also exceedingly good at writing their marketing to imply they were first, and let public perception do the rest.

So yes, Samsung may well be guilty of copying Apple copying {IBM,Nokia,Ericsson,Palm,Microsoft} et al. However in this specific case, as in that last one, the patents are utter tripe and should never have been granted in the first place (I see "slide to unlock" is still on the list, let's see if they have the balls to try and patent "swipe finger over fingerprint sensor to unlock" as well).

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Soccer's dull? A MIND-CONTROLLED robo-suit will be used to take first World Cup 2014 kick

NumptyScrub
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Re: Implications

quote: "Seriously, what happens if this idea actually works out well? I'd guess there will be more and more invalids walking around in these things, and there will be demands to accomodate them just like with wheelchairs."

See Deus Ex, Ghost In the Shell, or indeed any cyberpunk setting for what happens; people with no choice initially get replacement robo-limbs to be more normal, and when other people see how well they work they deliberately go get their own robo-limbs enhanced to be anything but normal. Cue walking cyborg death-machine army able to crush pathetic meatsacks on a whim ;)

quote: "Oh sure, stairs will be doable, but what about seating in public transport? These gadgets won't be fitting in a standard airline seat any time soon."

Citation needed. You can build a robot limb smaller (thinner) for the same "strength" as a human limb, so at worst it could be a bulky battery backpack and extra weight over a skinny human. The Petman NBC suit testing robot is exactly the same dimensions as a human and can support its own weight.

It's true we can't make them perfect yet, but the real issue is the interface and power delivery mechanism, more than it is the tech to make the limbs, at least IMO.

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

NumptyScrub
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Re: I don't want a larger phone

quote: "I don't want one either, these huge slabs folk seem to be walking around with these days are getting silly, it's like the 80's all over again."

The other option is having the 90s all over again, where phones just keep getting smaller and smaller reaching Zoolander-esque proportions ^^;

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

NumptyScrub
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Re: @Tanuki

Multiple gunshot wounds would be several massive blunt force traumas, so the "natural" equivalent producing the same symptoms would be something like a bull, moose or an angry billy goat.

I reckon some 80/20 chuck, boiled and then diluted to more than 1 part in 1,000,000 would be a relevant homeopathic medicine to take (orally). Potentially Bisto or other beef stock would do at a pinch.

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'Weev' attempts to overturn AT&T iPad 'hack' conviction

NumptyScrub
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Trollface

Re: Bah!

quote: "Let's understand something here. Getting into the server means figuring out a credential hack."

Nope, in this specific case it was simply editing the HTTP GET request made to the server to insert different ID numbers, e.g. instead of

http://www.att.com/accounts/details.php?ipad_id=12345678

you instead go for

http://www.att.com/accounts/details.php?ipad_id=12345679

and the webpage you get back has someone else's email address on it. No login required.

Hopefully that should put this quote from the article in a new light:

"This was a hack," Assistant US Attorney Glenn Moramarco (inarticulately) argued. "He had to decrypt and decode, and do all of these things I don't even understand."

quote: "I find your front door open I dial 911 and tell the cops so they can contact you.

Which of course Invites the question of what you were doing looking at someone else's front door? Would you mind stepping to one side and turning your pockets out for us sir?

quote: "When did the "if it doesn't belong to you don't touch it" rule stop applying?"

Apparently at least several centuries ago, although it is more likely to be further back at the point that "rulership" was defined as a concept back in the mists of time. If you can reconcile "if it doesn't belong to you don't touch it" with the concepts of "search and seizure", "border control", or even "taxation" then you are a better (or arguably worse) man person than I. All my attempts end up sounding suspiciously like Communism (and/or Socialism).

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NumptyScrub
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quote: "You enter someone's house and take something that doesn't belong to you, it's theft.

It doesn't matter that they left the front door wide open, it is still theft."

Pictures. You enter someone's house and take pictures of their stuff, leaving the originals in place. You then give those pictures to a newspaper.

Is that theft? No. Is the newspaper handling stolen goods? No. Is entering their house through a wide open front door "breaking and entering"? No. It's trespass at best, and here in the UK that is a civil matter, not criminal.

And in this instance, it is more analogous to entering a shop lobby through a wide open front door, because this information was taken from their public facing webserver. A computer that the public are invited to contact and make requests of.

Or in other words, if I were to walk in to Best Buy, take photos of information displayed on payment terminals inside the store (showing transaction details for people buying goods, for instance), and then give those pictures to a newspaper, I've done a meatspace Weev. "Here is a copy of personal information that was left publicly visible at the Best Buy store, they should secure this stuff better LOL".

And a judge could say "This was a hack, they did 'shoulder surfing' and 'photographing' and all these things I don't even understand." and then give me a several year custodial sentence for hacking and identity theft.

People consistently use (sometimes deliberately) incorrect analogies in order to reinforce their point. I may well have done so above, and I would be happy for someone to correct this with something that better represents the action of copy-pasting from a browser window, after sending an HTTP GET request to a webserver that was willingly fulfilled by the aforementioned server.

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NumptyScrub
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Trollface

Re: If he had worked for NSA

quote: "That's the new way of doing security: Wait for some honest person to point out a gaping hole in your defences, then blame them for it."

Unfortunately there is no "honest person" in your example; finding the gaping hole is apparently a crime in and of itself ^^;

Fortunately it does lend itself to the interpretation that information on your computing device is "protected" from foreign actors via that same legislation; e.g. the WhatsApp trawling of people's contact databases on the phone is a similar CFAA offense.

You may even be able to persuade people to indict Facebook for "handling stolen goods" (aka the WhatsApp contact databases purloined from people's phones) if you're lucky :D

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Nvidia unveils Titan Z: An 8TFLOPS off-the-shelf supercomputer disguised as a gfx card

NumptyScrub
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Re: @Numptyscrub. You were lucky...

quote: "I'll see your 32mb SIMMs and raise you a 256kb DIP RAM chip for a Trident video card"

I got into PCs pretty late, although I did buy a 3rd party 512kB RAM upgrade "card" (some soldering required) for my original Atari ST, that was so well designed it caused a case bulge when mounted as per the instructions ^^;

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NumptyScrub
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Re: Yowser

quote: "(Assuming you mean really 12Gib, 12 Gibibits, as RAM is never measured in Gigabits or Gigabytes, even though that's used in slang terms)."

*ibi as a differentiator has only recently been adopted though, and back in the 386 / 486 era all storage (RAM or non-volatile) used SI prefixes (Kilo-, Mega-) for size. I don't think I actually encountered a deliberate use of the *ibi prefixes until this century, and probably less than 10 years ago to boot. I have never seen (or purchased) SIMMs advertised in KibiBytes or MibiBytes, only KiloBytes or MegaBytes.

I remember buying a matched pair of 16MB SIMMs for a previous gaming rig, for the princely sum of £300. That'll be showing my age there, I think... ^^;

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CHILLING STUDY: Rise of the data-slurping SNITCH GADGETS

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Re: How I'm driving, or where I'm driving?

quote: "This is the immediately obvious question. I don't much mind an insurance company logging the data necessary to assess my driving style (IMO it would save me money). But I most certainly do not want them (or anyone else for that matter) maintaining a log of precisely when and where I drive."

"Sorry, but the location logs are necessary to ensure you aren't a seditionist terrorist, and anyway if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear." </parody>

Personally, I would be all for the logging of my specific driving style if it meant I could self-identify and pay for increased road freedoms. E.g. speed tax, I go for comedy-band insurance (££££) and it gives me the freedom to (safely and sensibly) open up on clear roads to make better progress, where other drivers may be limited to a more restrictive speed. I would even be absolutely fine with a prerequisite of a much more exhaustive driver test prior to the option of being able to apply and pay for such extra freedoms.

I don't see that ever happening though, unfortunately.

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

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Re: so much rubbish

quote: "Lily Cole deserves slightly more understanding though. She is only 26 and does not write for a living. She is never going to sound like Walt Whitman. Ditto other youngsters who have been accused of vacuous writings eg Peaches Geldof. She was 19, brought up in a millionaire celebrity bubble and some fools lacerated her for not being Earnest Hemmingway"

Both of those examples are good, however it still doesn't explain why a professional publication would employ someone so demonstrably unskilled at writing to write for them. Think of the rebukes as being aimed at the person who hired them for these positions. Did they not ask for demonstrations of work prior to offering them the role, or was the glare of "celebrity" so great that it eclipsed any requirement for basic writing skills? Because that is what these people are actually griping about, that someone so obviously unsuited for the role has apparently been chosen due to factors unrelated to their capabilities.

It's like hiring programmers because of their cup size or previous modelling work, rather than competence with programming languages. The output is going to be substandard and as a manager, you should expect to get called on it pretty damn quickly.

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Forget sledgehammers – crooks can CRACK ATMs with a TEXT

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Re: Neat!

quote: "There is a difference?"

One of them commits crimes to get paid, and the other is paid to commit crimes. ;)

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Facebook snubbed Google's Silicon Valley wage-strangle pact, Sheryl Sandberg claims

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Unhappy

Re: Bet this one gets booted out

quote: "And these execs at major corporations have to check with their in-house council whether its OK to breathe."

Although apparently not checking with counsel whether it's ok to update EULAs with unenforcable clauses, change privacy settings which would violate legislation in several countries, or indeed commit deliberate acts of price fixing (e.g. LCD displays, e-book pricing).

I've also seen several instances of constructive dismissal in my time, which is actually directly related to employment law and the violation thereof.

I don't think companies employ an in-house counsel for the same reasons you think they do, and I'm not sure that in-house counsels offer the same type of advice that you think they do either.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

NumptyScrub
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Angel

Re: <stuff about inbuilt obsolescence>

quote: "less voltage = better for environment.

I run all my bulbs severely undervolted on a 120 volt isolation transformer so I can get into heaven for using less volts therefore less carbon. QED."

Whereas I just use the night-vision goggles I got with the overpriced version of Call of Battlefield: Modern Ghost-Ops LXIV, and thus I am destined for Sainthood </smug>

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The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

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Happy

Re: I can't be arsed to look at the list ...

quote: "I guarantee that I can swear in perfect English without using a single word that is not allowed before the kiddies go to bed."

I would suggest that your assertion of being able to "swear" using child-friendly vocabulary is perhaps an over-simplification. "Swearing" as it relates to invective (as opposed to taking an oath) is generally understood as requiring the use of "swear words", which are those words one is not supposed to utter within hearing of the young.

I completely agree that castigation (berating, reprimanding, rebuking etc.) is easily achieved without needing to revert to obscenities though. It is also generally more satisfying to do so, at least in my experience, especially so when the recipient is unused to such use of language :)

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Oculus Rift? Tchah, try 'Oculus Thrift' ... You bet your vrAse we tested these bargain VR specs

NumptyScrub
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Re: Modern Victorian diablerie

quote: "I guess I "invented" this then because when I saw BBC showing Wimbledon in 3D as horizontal split-screen on regular TV, I wondered if I could get 3D by making one eye look at each half of the screen. It didn't work at all, are you saying it would've if I'd persevered?"

Yep. Depending on how the frames were split, you would either have needed card between the eyes, or to go cross-eyed; depends on whether the left eye frame is physically on the left or not.

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Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

NumptyScrub
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Re: Cloth nappies FTW

quote: "err, do your guests know you are making them wipe their mouths and hands on used nappies?"

I spot a distinct lack of trust in standardised washing processes (including machinery and detergents). They are good enough for me, and I would happily use a freshly washed cloth regardless of it's previous role.

I also happily eat sausages and drink tap water though, so YMMV ^^;

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

NumptyScrub
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Re: "no incumbent supplier is going to be offering devices which minimise customer revenue"

quote: "The costs of metering are a trivial component of your energy bill, and the costs of buying your own, having it installed, including periodic accuracy testing are going to be be far greater than leaving it to the supplier."

It depends entirely on your perceived level of trust that the meter readings provided to you by the supplier are accurate (or indeed even factual). For instance, if your bill over a one month period was increased ("because winter") but you were not in fact at home at all over that period and all electrical appliances were turned off (also gas central heating), it might cause some doubt as to the veracity of the information being presented to you by the company charging you for the claimed usage.

Especially if the response to your query on how this might have happened is stock denial until corroborating proof is given, which then becomes "it must be a systems error".

Not that I've been through anything like that, of course, my energy suppliers are all squeaky clean bastions of corporate ethics :)

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Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

NumptyScrub
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Re: It's actually quite a tricky spec.

quote: "But here's the trickiest of all.

Run on 4 AA batteries for 40 hours or 2 AAs for 8 hours."

That is the tricky part; I know of no way to get 400% more work out of only double the stored energy ;)

Did you mean 20 hours on 4* AA cells (still a stretch tbh if you're designing for 8 hours on 2* AA) or 4* C cells for the 40 hour runtime? Going from 5.4Ah to 10.8Ah is not going to yield 5 times more runtime however much I try :(

Surprising note: I didn't realise until I checked just how much charge a "normal" battery holds compared to current device batteries; a single AA at 2700mAh can fully recharge an iPhone 5 (1440mAh battery) with some to spare, and a single C cell at 8000mAh would nearly cover an iPad Air (8800mAh) ^^;

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MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

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Re: Very good

quote: "...unfortunately companies such as Samsung have never had an original idea and are therefore utterly dependent on Apple/Google to come up with something.

The same thing goes for those so called-smart watches."

So remind me again which companies have actually created and released smart watches, and which companies are only rumoured to have one in the works and have not yet actually released a product?

FYI Apple have always been late to every party they show up at: Apple generally make their splash by being incrementally (in some cases exponentially) "better" than the existing products in whatever market they have aimed at, but what they don't do is get there first. There were PCs before Apple, mobile phones (including smart phones with touch screens, we used to call them PDAs) before Apple, and tablet computers before Apple. There were smart watches before the current crop from Sony and Samsung, and they have managed to predate Apple by several months and counting...

If/when the iWatch appears I expect it to be a polished product, but it will also be indicative of Apple's SOP; let others do the risky leading, then follow once the market has matured enough, and make sure your marketing language implies you were there all along. It works too, as I've lost count of the times I've seen people claim that Apple were the first for "X" when a quick check on the internet will show several predecessors (never mind the fact that I often personally remember someone else releasing an X product prior to Apple's offering). Pretty much every "copying" or "idea stealing" criticism I see levelled at Samsung (normally quite fairly) can as equally be levelled at Apple by judicious use of :%s/Samsung/Apple/

I look forward to seeing what the iWatch is capable of when it gets released, and how well it interfaces with the iPhone and iPad :)

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It's a BLOCKBUSTER: Minecraft heads to the silver screen

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Re: Well that will be worth anticipating

quote: "You're missing the true plot: Minecraft founders, back in the mists of time awakened a great evil by opening the Pandora's box of Java.

<snip>

By the time we get to Minecraft 4 then the plague will be Windows itself."

Err, the fact it is written in Java lends it to being run as-is on Linux. So you might want to revise that sequence to put Windows first, perhaps, before you kill the only thing letting it run on an alternative OS? :P

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NumptyScrub
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Re: money in same old .... out

quote: "no such thing as intellectual property in a court of law.."

Wait what?

quote: "It can not be copyright, because that would be a script by notch."

Say what again? Copyright is wide ranging enough in scope to cover computer programs, including the representations therein; the exact example given is that Mickey Mouse the character is not copyrighted per se, but that the copyright on Steamboat Willie (the film) afford protections to the Mickey Mouse character. Minecraft the game is copyrighted, thus the characters and contents therein are also afforded some protections.

The guys intending to make a Minecraft movie (specifically as a "Minecraft" movie, note, not "Square Block Miner: Adventures in Cubeland") are indeed quite obviously intending to make a derivative product of a copyrighted work without holding the rights to do so. What they did do was show the major studios (i.e. Warner) that there is enough interest in a Minecraft movie to help them decide to seal a deal with Notch for the rights; simultaneously doing themselves out of any profit whilst allowing Warner to make yet more monies for old rope.

Moral of this story: if you have an idea to make monies using other people's IP, make damn sure you have negotiated the rights to do so before going public. If you don't, you'll get shot down and someone else will just take your idea and run with it themselves.

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NumptyScrub
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Re: Well that will be worth anticipating

Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil... some films based on games turn out ok (not superlative, mind, but at least ok) ;)

As long as it's not Uwe Boll directing it should at least be watchable, and the fact that it's a sandbox game means that if they hire a capable scriptwriter it could be pretty good.

Just don't let Boll anywhere near it *shudder*

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Official FACT: Gadgets are giving YOU a wrinkly 'Tech Neck'

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Coat

Re: How standards have fallen

As an illegible bachelor, I resemble that remark! >.<

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Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs

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Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?

quote: "I know, given this is a S5 article many will find this comment challenging, but it is fair enough to point out the multi-path TCP Samsung have presented as an innovation is something Apple have already been doing since the iPhone 5. "

And channel aggregation has been available since the advent of dial-up modems, in one form or another. I used to bond 2 33k modems together to double my bandwidth, back when "mobile phone" meant something that weighed in excess of a kilogramme :)

quote: "So when you really understand multi-path TCP it's clear Samsung are now advertising a feature Apple have had for two generations, in a more advanced implementation than Samsung are touting, and they didn't bother to tell anyone about it in the first place."

This being different to the time that that other mobile operating systems had features that iOS was missing (e.g. copy/paste) but they made no noise about it, and that Apple took 2 years to implement in a counter-intuitive way?

None of them are perfect, some manufacturers miss out on functionality that others think essential or even integral enough to not market it as a feature, etc. etc. This time round Samsung are crowing about something that iOS could already do, next time it'll be someone else.

The real issue here is that the market is reaching saturation here in the West, so device manufacturers are desperately trying to find something they can use as a USP to get people to purchase their device instead of another. You can expect at least another 12 months of this frippery before they pare back and start focusing on the basics again. Like battery life, which has always been important for mobile devices, and will always be important for mobile devices, regardless of what else they actually let you do while they still have a usable charge.

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Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

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Semi-automatics, even as an Englishman I'm aware the the US banned fully automatic firearms and large magazines a while back, after a well-publicised shooting that involved at least one AR-15 with extended mags. Much like the knee-jerk reaction here after Dunblane which banned all "small firearms" (aka pistols).

You would probably be surprised at just how straightforward it is to become certified to own and operate actual firearms in the UK, despite us not having "first amendment" style rights enshrined in law. You can even get semi-automatic AR-15s, as long as they are chambered for .22 LR (anything larger has to have a mechanical loading action such as bolt or Martini) ;)

Of course if you have ever been convicted of a violent crime, you are shit out of luck at getting a firearms certificate, so I hope you've never punched someone in a pub :)

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TV scraper Aereo pulled off air in six US states after tellyco court injunction victory

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