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* Posts by MD Rackham

159 posts • joined 26 May 2007

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Isis Wallet, NOT an Islamist militant group, reborn as Softcard

MD Rackham

Remember "Ayds" Diet Candies?

Oddly enough, they chose to rename their product back in the '80s.

Name overloading is very confusing for some people.

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It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

MD Rackham

Re: A glimmer of hope

The current glued-together iPad/iPhone/MacBooks are far easier to recycle than the equivalent products held together with screws. Pop up 'em in an oven, the glue melts and they fall apart. Turn up the oven a bit and all the SMD components fall off the PCB too.

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Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency

MD Rackham

Re: How useful is this really!?

I once worked for a company who decided not to waste time on research and instead spend all its time on "real product development."

Not too surprisingly, they ended up with no ability to develop actual new products and instead spent all their time coming up with new paint schemes, minor UI tweaks, and copies of competitors features (6 months too late). From stopping all research to bankruptcy took all of three years. (It was in a highly technical/highly competitive field.)

(The CEO made a bundle of money on his stock holdings the first few quarters that the R&D expenses approached zero, so there is that viewpoint.)

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Fear a terrifying killer robot revolution? GET A GRIP: Boffins invent cyborg hand for humans

MD Rackham

Re: Souds good

I can't decide if I want the Rosie Greer second head, or the Ray Milland model.

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

MD Rackham

Re: Prior Art?

Was the app available prior to Apple's patent filing date?

If not, it may not be in the Google Play store for long.

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US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

MD Rackham

People who are tired of the anti-social use of that RF bandwidth?

Jammers are a bit of a blunt instrument, though. Being from the States, I'm required to favor being able to legally shoot people using their phones in an annoying fashion. Better?

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Report pegs Apple for October smartwatch release

MD Rackham

Teenagers aren't going to wear any health monitoring device; they are immortal.

If the iWatch is indeed going to be focused on health monitoring, then perhaps Apple is aware of markets not made up of teens. You might want to broaden your view.

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Adobe blames 'maintenance failure' for 27-hour outage

MD Rackham

Re: On the other hand...

If you're going to tell a story, get the details right.

If they have annual CC subscription, the software keeps working for 99 days without being able to phone home. With month-to-month it's 7 days.

So except for those stuck in the middle of uninstalling/reinstalling the software, or those who rely on the few actual "cloud" features Adobe offers, how was it "not working" during the outage?

(Not to excuse Adobe (from anything)--TypeKit users were truly screwed by the outage--but most of the talk I heard about how "I can't use Photoshop" came from people using CS3 and looking for an excuse for missing their deadline.)

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Too late, Blighty! Samsung boffins claim breakthrough graphene manufacturing success

MD Rackham

Re: The real difference

Says someone who apparently never actually used a STAR workstation. Nor an Alto running Smalltalk. Us old farts know better.

There's a good reason STAR never caught on, and it wasn't just the price.

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MD Rackham

Where will our cats relax on summer days until then?

This is simply unacceptable.

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Apple flops out latest OS X Mavericks beta, hopes sound+graphics sorted

MD Rackham

Re: New OSX' always breaks audio

But what if I can't hear the cat's adorable mewing?

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Comcast Corp to merge with Time Warner Cable in MONSTER $45bn deal

MD Rackham

Re: Some people regret the lost jobs of horse carriage maintenance.

Perhaps you can enlighten us as to what the benefit of this merger is, such that it compares to the introduction of the automobile?

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IT'S ALIVE! China's Jade Rabbit rover RETURNS from the DEAD

MD Rackham

I just want to thank the writer for clarifying that Yutu's owner Change'e is a *mythological* Moon goddess.

Don't want to get her confused with any of the real ones.

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MAC TO THE FUTURE: 30 years of hindsight and smart-arsery

MD Rackham

Mouse Hindsight

I certainly don't care to defend the original Apple mouse, but another example of revisionism is the idea that "journalists" of the time were aghast at how bad it was. This was 1984. Most "journalists" had never seen a mouse, let alone used enough to be critical of a specific implementation.

The introduction of the Mac caused everyone else to go out and start building mice, even if you couldn't really do anything with them. Fortunately, those other people learned from Apple's original design mistakes (sharp corners, ouch!).

Yes, the original MS mouse shipped about 6 months before the Mac 128K--remember that MS had Macs before the public did--but few sold as there wasn't much use for a mouse in command line MS-DOS. And the design was nearly as bad as Apple's.

(I'd claim that the original iMac "hockey puck" mouse was an even worse design. No sharp corners, but you couldn't figure out which way was "up" so were always mousing at a diagonal.)

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Ancient video of Steve Jobs launching the first Apple Mac found

MD Rackham

Indeed.

If I crane my head a bit I can see the machine room with at least 5 U-Matic (3/4") VTRs, most of which are the SP flavor.

Of course, we also manage to keep a 2" Quad VTR working, alongside all the other formats that people still have tapes for. (1/2" EIAJ reels anyone?)

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SpaceX beats off Bezos' rocket for rights to historic NASA launch pad

MD Rackham

"Launch Complex"

Not "launch control".

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

MD Rackham

Re: Cool but not as cool as

Soon to be the US Navy that did this, at least if Hollywood has anything to say on the subject.

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NASA probecraft to FLY the SKIES of MARS - IF it can make its launch window

MD Rackham

Re: $671 million?

I'm certainly not going to defend the US for our callous disregard for many of our citizens, but, seriously, walking and chewing gum at the same time is possible.

$671 million makes no dent in the problems of healthcare/food security/housing/etc. The US is an extremely wealthy country. If it wanted to address those problems then it would need to make hard choices about defense and subsidizing the already wealthy; that's where the money is.

The MAVEN mission actually accomplishes something useful in extending our knowledge. Another tax break so someone can buy another Lamborghini really doesn't.

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Apple releases previously SECRET OPERATING SYSTEM SOURCE CODE

MD Rackham

Yes, but we didn't have cut/paste back then.

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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

MD Rackham

Re: Stop stating patently wrong facts as truth!

Late to tablets that anyone cared to use then.

Did you actually try to use the first gen tablets? We did a trial deployment with our app into a hospital. Leaving hardware reliability aside, doctors were literally (and I do mean literally) throwing them back at us because they were so frustrating to use. Hardware and UI were both a disaster. (I'm long gone, but as I understand it, the descendent of that medical software is now quite successful as an iPad app.)

If you want to do MS a favor, don't remind people about those early systems. Apple's real talent is knowing when to enter a market, which is after all the pioneers have died of arrows in their backs, and it's much clearer what the market wants. (I can mix that metaphor a bit more if you wish, sir.)

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MD Rackham

Re: unhelpful review

I can't comment on the "right mind" part, but I see people all the time using their iPads as cameras.

I suppose for video it gives more stability than a phone, but they don't usually seem the sort that would understand that.

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Astroboffins solve birth of the Man in the Moon face

MD Rackham

Man in the Moon. Pfffft.

Everyone knows that it's a rabbit pounding rice for mochi.

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iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

MD Rackham

Re: I suppose...

If someone came up to me and said they wished they could spend 5 hours reformatting a PowerPoint presentation, I'd be pretty sure they were being sarcastic.

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Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

MD Rackham

Re: That kid...

If it's running iOS 7, hell, it walks on water!

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Space truck Cygnus left idling outside ISS after data format snafu borks docking

MD Rackham

Re: Safety?

Michael Foale's book, Dragonfly, about his time on Mir is quite an interesting read. While parts of it seem pretty defensive, his description of the docking incident and the fire (a separate incident) are quite harrowing.

His career came to a screeching halt after he revealed just how close, and how often, Mir came to disaster. Astronauts are supposed to just suck it up.

Anyway, a good read, although it has to be taken with a grain of salt, or at least balanced by the Russian side of things.

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

MD Rackham

Re: At least the USAF is doing something with the X-37B

When Congress cuts your budget, you have to cut somewhere. So some projects get tossed in the waste bin.

You can argue NASA's priorities, but research projects with no immediate application tend to always get cut before the big splashy projects (Mars Opportunity, JWST, etc.).

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Memory muddle muddies Intel's Exascale ambitions

MD Rackham

Exaflop may be the current goal, but Intel's already produced two wottaflop processors: the iAPX32 and Itanium.

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Snowden's XKeyscore revelations challenged

MD Rackham

Re: There is middle ground too

Rationality based on material from the NSA, or rationality as in something you just pulled out of your ass?

The Greenwald piece is based on actual documents. The criticism is based on help-wanted ads and self-proclaimed "experts" who keep getting proven wrong as others confirm what has been in each Greenwald story.

Maybe the Reg can put Lewis Page on the case so we can once again be told that there's nothing to be concerned about as long as we trust our masters.

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

MD Rackham

Re: RSX11M - Dave Cutler

Of course, that was several years after there was a protected, multi-user timesharing system running on the PDP-8, TSS/8. And it would run in 8K of memory, although you had to spring for 12K for decent performance. Swapped off a fixed-head 256K word disk.

You PDP-11 kids get off my lawn!

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Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

MD Rackham

Re: Bah!

No, if you read the Adobe release, it only requires an internet connection once every 30 days. And if it can't get one, it switches into 30-day evaluation mode. So you can go 60 days without a connection without losing anything.

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DARPA looks for a guided bullet with DEAD reckoning navigation

MD Rackham

Re: Too much in too small a space

No problem: just use depleted livermorium.

(Just make sure you can get that round fired quickly!)

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White House backs US web sales tax - eBay hits panic alarm

MD Rackham

@Simon 49:

Can you please point me to a free SaaS which calculates sales tax for me that is both free and easy?

Oh, and make sure that it takes type of goods into account, since different items are often taxed differently.

The ones I know of are quite costly.

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Yahoo! chats! up! Apple! for! lots! more! iPhone! lovin'!

MD Rackham
Paris Hilton

I'm sure you don't want to be bothered with facts, but you can select the search engine to use on your iPhone/iPad. Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

And you can install whatever mapping apps you want. As well as whatever other apps you might like.

You could use that PC of yours to find things like this out before posting

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Retailer challenges Visa penalty fees in data security dust-up

MD Rackham
Facepalm

Re: Legacy

Ah yes, the famous "We've never had an undetected error" justification.

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US gov cash slash threatens manned trips to asteroids and Mars

MD Rackham

Re: how much use would you or I get from that?

Because what you or I get out of it is the sole measure of anything's usefulness.

Let me guess, you consider yourself a libertarian, right?

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SpaceX: 'We have control, it's just a glitch' Musk tells world+dog

MD Rackham
Facepalm

Clogged helium lines

Wait. We're not supposed to put the whole mylar balloon into the tank, just the helium?

Well what do you know.

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E-taxes aren't really stuffing Uncle Sam's pockets enough

MD Rackham

Re: US Sales Tax - you think EU VAT is tricky?

There's no Federal sales tax in the US, so it's really rate = special district + city + county + state.

And that leaves out the special incentives offered by some states, like for "teleproduction equipment" (in California) which can reduce the state portion of the tax calculation by 50% if the buyer and seller fill out the right paperwork, or the exemption of all "pre-programmed (non-custom) software delivered electronically" from any sales tax (in California).

I'm all for making all net transactions (including interstate) subject to sales tax, but only if there are common rates established so I don't have to pay a fortune for some service to calculate the tax for me.

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Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

MD Rackham

Intense x-rays?

Wouldn't the intensity of the blue-shifted x-rays be proportional to the intensity of the visible light when at "rest?"

Space is pretty dark, without a whole lot of photons to start with. Even Doppler-shifted to x-rays, I'm not sure why they'd add so much to the "normal" radiation outside the Earth's magnetic field.

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Post-defenestration Microsoft: It's the APIs, stupid. And Metro

MD Rackham
FAIL

Re: Lack of Use (If Any) and Lack of Knowledge (If Any)

Windows 8 cannot fail, it can only be failed.

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Hackers leak '1 MILLION records' on Apple fanbois from FEDS

MD Rackham

Still trying to unload that RIM stock, are we?

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Global strategic maple syrup reserves hit in Canadian mega-heist

MD Rackham
Holmes

I think they need to bring Mrs. Butterworth in for questioning.

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Elon Musk says he's planning a 'supersonic, electric hover jetplane'

MD Rackham

Not just Musk

If you do a bit of research you'll find that Boeing and Airbus have active research projects into electric commercial airliners. Use a conventional turbine running at a constant, efficient, speed to generate electricity to charge batteries. Call on the batteries for peak energy needs, i.e., when taking off.

The supersonic part I'm a bit fuzzy on, but I'm not sure I'd bet against Musk's record.

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'Ex climate sceptic' Muller's latest BEST stuff is the worst so far

MD Rackham
Facepalm

Re: Really?

"Not unduly bias" does not mean the "data are unaffected."

It means that while the data are affected by UHI, it not a major enough effect to bias the temperature change estimates.

Try reading what was written instead of jumping to preconceived conclusions.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13in

MD Rackham

Hey, Have Some Respect

We all have our opinions, but calling Windows "fermented cat piss" is a bit over the top.

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Apple's Mountain Lion to offer automatic security updates

MD Rackham

Re: Next week in the register: Apple to support colour monitors!

Sophos gets all it's Mac information from Lewis Page.

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Microsoft takes on tablets with keyboard-equipped Surface

MD Rackham

So I need a desk to set it on?

Rather missing the point of how people use tablets.

The intuitive touch interface is what set the iPad apart and made it a success, notwithstanding the whinging from people about wanting a "real" keyboard. So to set themselves apart, Microsoft adds an external flat keyboard which is likely to have no better "feel" than the on-screen iPad keys.

And "vents all around" (from the MS presentation) doesn't sound like something you want to boast about. It implies lots of heat and provides openings for crud and liquids.

I predict Bob-level success as I don't see this as being as good a product as the Zune.

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Windows Metro Maoist cadres reach desktop, pound it flat

MD Rackham

As long as...

As long as the shutdown button is easy to find I'll be happy.

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Steve Jobs' 'private Apple spaceship' seeks public love

MD Rackham

Re: "Foxconn-rebrander"

And it remains as lazy as it was the first time.

Complain about Apple's policies, products, and pricing as much as you like, but the fact that they use contract manufacturing for their designs doesn't really set them apart from any other high-tech company.

If the Reg really needs the clicks brought on by Apple-bashing, at least assign someone with some creativity to the job. Like maybe Lewis Page. He just makes up a lot of what he writes, so he's clearly a creative guy.

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US-Russian trio blast off to space station in Soyuz launch

MD Rackham

I do that sort of thing all the time

What? Why's everyone staring at me?

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Kaspersky: Apple security is like Microsoft's in 2002

MD Rackham

Re: Awesome

Near as I can tell, David Emm's qualifications as a "serious and skilled security professional" consist of being employed by Kapersky.

There will be security flaws in OS X that will get exploited. But the anti-virus salespeople have been screaming that the (Mac) sky is falling for a lot of years now with not much evidence that they *aren't* just hawking their software.

The most recent Mac event was (another) hole in Java. That doesn't make me all that upset, except at the people (still) touting Java as safe and secure.

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