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* Posts by Neil

60 posts • joined 31 May 2007

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BT slammed for 'importing' cheap Indian contractors

Neil
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Don't expect the government to do anything

RBS employ hundreds of Indians, both onshore and offshore, getting rid of permanent UK staff to be replaced by foreign nationals.

Remind me who owns RBS again? Oh yes that's right, even the UK government is now complicit in the act of killing off the IT industry in this country and turfing out taxpayers for non-taxpayers.

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Nokia's next-gen tablet OS uncovered?

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Linux

@Fake

Fremantle is the next Maemo release, Harmattan is the version after Fremantle. Might still be fake however.

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Canonical punts Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope

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Linux

10.09 - confused?

> Ubuntu is a normal release, meaning that it will eventually be replaced

> by Ubuntu 10.09 eighteen month from now (in October 2010).

Don't you mean "9.04 is a normal release"? And eighteen months from April 2009 is October 2010, but this would mean the replacement version is 10.10 not 10.09 (Ubuntu versioning is based on <year>.<month> of release, typically every 6 months)

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Which wireless technologies will get credit crunched?

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@wireless power

I'd happily trade 50% inefficiency to replace the 5 or 6 different and incompatible wall warts I have at home, all plugged in and switched on 24x7. Call me a walking ecological disaster but I bet I'm not the only one who does similar so wasting some power when charging to save a lot when not charging (I'd only need one wall wart, not 6) and gaining a boat load of convenience at the same time seems like a reasonable trade.

I certainly hope wireless power has a future - if the manufacturers of devices could all agree on a single standard it would take off without a doubt, 50% inefficiency or not.

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Toshiba wows crowds with sexy touch smartphone

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Video of UI has surfaced

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YdmPyZ5a0vo

Oh dear, it's not looking too finger-friendly (or eye friendly for that matter with that colour scheme). Lots of ineffectual stabbing at the screen, small icons, very little eye candy - not good! I can only assume the entire UI is still under development and they're running some sort of early test version that isn't intended for release? Yeah, that would explain it...

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Neil
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Gates Horns

ZunePhone?

The Zune is based on Toshiba tech, and this looks the ideal candidate for a Zune Phone. Not that anyone will be interested in a Zune Phone, just like the original whatyamacallit.

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Google OS gOS - if at first you don't succeed...

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@Neoc re: Booting from USB key

If it's a laptop with a floppy drive it's probably too old to support booting from USB...

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RISC daddy conjures Moore's Lawless parallel universe

Neil
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Black Helicopters

Forget Moores Law

Isn't Amdahl's Law more relevant to this article?

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NASA celebrates return of the Zeppelin

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Coat

Your second coat hanger?

Or did you mean Hangar Two?

Mines the one crumpled on the floor...

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Philips Aurea II 42PFL9903H 42in LCD TV

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Seeing is believing

I have the first generation £3K Aurea 42" LCD hanging on my wall at home and I absolutely love it! I would never go back to a non-Ambilight TV and I only hope Philips are still producing Aurea models when I'm ready to upgrade in about 7-10 years! :) The pictures in this review don't do the Aurea justice, to be honest.

BTW I work in Financial IT (still!) :)

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iSCSI dodges Fibre Channel over Ethernet noose

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Dead Vulture

Brett - go and find Chris Mellor

and give him a good shoeing for the nonsensical/histrionic article he posted up yesterday on iSCSI: Game over[1]

Ta

1. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/15/fcoe_io_kill_iscsi/

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Happy

Brett == Bryan

I was in a hurry... :)

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Ultra-mobile devices: Atom to beat ARM... just, says analyst

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@Jason

The current OMAP2-based Nokia Tablet hardware is more than powerful enough for Web2.0 in theory, it's the unoptimised browsers that are the problem.

Most of the browser manufacturers are now focusing heavily on optimising their Javascript performance and are realising significant performance gains so when this goodness becomes available on the Nokia Tablets (which it will) your current hardware will get a new lease of life... And the future Nokia Tablets will be based on OMAP3 which will offer better performance than OMAP2 so should be even better than that which is available today.

Atom performance in general is pretty abysmal, so with properly optimised software the ARM hardware is more than a match. Plus, the ARM devices will run for many hours longer than Intel on a single charge...

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Dead Vulture

Intel FUD - and you bought it hook, line & sinker

Nokia Internet Tablets are ARM based, run Linux, are only slightly larger than a typical smartphone yet they provide the "full internet" experience including Flash 9 in either Opera, WebKit or Firefox browsers.

Intel's point is wafer thin and if you were to consider the Nokia Tablet range then Intel is 100% incorrect and guilty of outright FUD - lies, infact.

Nokia have been shipping the full internet experience on ARM in a MID form factor since November 2005 - the bullsh1t being spread by Intel smacks of desperation as the end user isn't going to give a stuff whether their device is running ARM or x86, all they'll care about is the battery lifetime which is where Intel sucks big-time and they know it. Application availability is not going to be an issue with most Linux apps cross-compiling quite happily.

And have you ever wondered why Intel are spending so much time and effort working on fast-boot support in Linux[1]? It's because Atom CPUs need to power down in order to achieve acceptable battery lifetime and nobody is willing to wait 1-2 minutes for their device to boot, so a five-second boot time for Linux becomes absolutely essential if Atom is to stand a chance in a mobile environment. Contrast that with an ARM device that never has to switch off... maybe it will be rebooted once a month, if that. I know which I would prefer so stop buying into the Intel hype/bullsh1t!

1. http://lwn.net/Articles/299483

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iSCSI: Game over

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Dead Vulture

Plenty of "if's" and "maybe's" here

Aren't you completely ignoring iSCSI on DCE 10gigE? That would seem to be the obvious move which would allow existing users of iSCSI to upgrade at relatively low cost and have most of the benefits of FCoE, but at lower cost.

Like Austin, am I missing something here - or has the author shot his wad over FCoE too soon?

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Sergey Brin descends from Mount Sinai with Android API

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@Aaron et al

Actually I spent quite some time programming the Windows API pre Windows 3.0, pre-MFC, pre all the Windows RAD environments, religously going through Charles Petzold books etc. circa 1989.

Perhaps if you replace "Windows developers" with "VB developers" does that make it better?

No malice meant to developers who know their API backwards, but the author just comes across as a cut & paste/point & click merchant who can't be arsed to learn the basics (whether that be programming, or an API). Much like a lot of "VB coders" I've had the misfortune to work with (usually picking up their shite and making it work - times are hard).

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What a terrible article

As a developer I'm embarassed for you.

Really, what do you expect of an API - for it to be so trivial that Windows developers can pick it up in 5 minutes? Put some effort in for Gods sake and stop whining, or just go back to Windows... the issue here is not API more PEBKAC.

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HBOS could shift 2,000 IT jobs to India

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If you ask me it's time that companies...

were told that if they want to do business in this country they must employ British workers rather than offshored/outsourced workers from the sub-continent (or now, Eastern Europe as Indian rates are on the increase). Too many times I've seen "outsourced" and so-called "offshored" workers tip up at the old desk of a British former worker, giving the lie to many of the reasons why work is moved "overseas".

Outsourcing is killing IT and other skilled jobs in this country - the long term decline of various industries will be the legacy of New Labour (amongst other things). If promised to bring in a ban on outsourcing I reckon they'd clean up at the polls - if companies want to fark off as a result then I won't shed a tear.

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Elgato EyeTV DTT Deluxe 'world's smallest' USB TV tuner

Neil
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Stop

@Steve - TV LicenCe

If you don't have the hardware to receive live broadcasts you're in the clear. The TV Licence fee terms and conditions already cover "PC hardware" - even mobile phones with TV tuners - for some time now. If you can view programme content as it is broadcast live (as opposed to watching it recorded or time-shifted) then you are liable to pay the TV Licence fee.

If the BBC are trying to make you pay because you only have an internet connection then the BBC don't have a leg to stand on, and you have nothing to worry about.

What makes me laugh though are people who fork over £500+ per annum to watch dross on Sky then belly ache about the TV Licence fee and the relative quality it provides. Get over it.

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Google: The Satan Phone cometh

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How much SIM free?

Judging by it's looks it going to be dirt cheap... I suspect once the platform proves itself more attractive (and expensive) hardware will appear. I'm tempted to buy this ugly duckling though if it's sub-£250 SIM free, and unlocked.

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Coventry fans blue over 'hackable' cashless payment system

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Boffin

@Stuart Castle

It doesn't work like that - a cloned card would be loaded with a specified amount of cash and could be used independently of the "real" card unless the system is keeping track of card usage (inc. current amount on the card) and blocks both cards when it detects an anomaly - but if tracking is in use it would make cloning more difficult in the first place, so it's unlikely any such tracking is in fact in place.

Oh and Chelsea introduced RFID based ticket entry this season, but as far as I know Chelsea have no plans for cash payments.

Cloning someone elses season ticket is somewhat pointless unless you want to run the risk of a ruck when the real ticket owner turns up and gives you a good hiding. Although it's possible the real owner may be barred from entering the ground if the system has already seen his card for that game, which means the problem will be brought swiftly to the attention of the authorities and one very easy collar for the old Bill - East Stand Upper, Row 15, Seat 28 etc. Conversely some mong with a cloned card travels all the way to the game only to discover they can't get in. Whichever way you look at it, cloning a stadium season ticket is a pointless excercise and not a big deal!

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Oz minister walks plank for dancing drunk in his smalls

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Dead Vulture

@Lester

Matt Rees? Nathan Rees? Someone called Brown?

Lester - shouldn't you have your articles proof-read before publishing to ensure they at least make some sense...?

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UK fraudster gang go PIN sniffing

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@Jason Crowley

The Chip & PIN system has failed the Banks entirely - Banks can no longer stand behind this system and claim that Customers are liable for fraudulent transactions when it is the Chip & PIN system that is making it easier for criminals to clone cards. If the Banks try that in future then I'm eagerly awaiting the test case that will be brought against the banks which would without a shadow of a doubt seal the demise of Chip & PIN in the UK. The system is compromised due to poor design of both hardware and software, with woefully inadequate security - the Banks would have a tough time convincing a judge that of anything else.

The old, manual, pre-Chip & PIN systems made it difficult (laborious) but not impossible to collect card details and clone cards, butt now with Chip & PIN the criminals only need to sit outside the retail establishment with a Bluetooth laptop logging card details as transactions are processed, or they could even be anywhere in the world if the compromised PED is dailing up to the internet... The Chip & PIN system allows automated harvesting of card details with little if any risk of being caught and is an absolute godsend for the criminal fraternity - the Banks have'nt shot themselves in the foot with this system, they've blown both bl**dy legs off! I'm sure Chip & PIN has reduced fraud on the high street while fraud abroad has mushroomed, again thanks to Chip & PIN giving up our details.

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Neil
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Unhappy

Banks are responsible for the security of this system, not the retailers and public!

The existing Chip & PIN system is fundamentally flawed - no amount of CCTV, network monitoring or see-through-cases is going to fix that.

The Banks need to re-think Chip & PIN - implementing proper end-to-end encryption/security would be a good start instead of the farcical "security" they have foisted on the general public and retailers.

Maybe we should refuse to use Chip & PIN terminals as they can't be trusted? This would force retailers to pull out their backup roll-over imprinting machines which we can sign... if enough people join the campaign and stop using the compromised Chip & PIN system maybe the Banks will be forced to acknowledge what everybody knows: the system is fcked and an upgraded Chip & PIN system is needed - not one designed by bean-counters and amateurs but by security specialists. NXP have learned this lesson to their cost.

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Intel lets slip first dual-core Atom

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@Jonathan Tate

Correct that ARM (the company) are design only, but ARM is also the derivative name for ARM-based chips from TI, Samsung, nVidia etc. etc. and these ARM CPUs have way better power consumption. Intel Atom will be eventually target (if it isn't already) the ultra mobile space - small internet devices running Moblin - but they won't compete with the ARM based products until Intel cut the power requirements by an order of magnitude or two.

Atom was designed to compete - eventually - with ARM designs, but they're a long way from that right now.

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Neil
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Not very compelling in the slightest

Intel Atom: An underspecified CPU hobbled by a God awful chipset - the recently released AMD 64 2000+ beats the Atom hands down in terms of overall power consumption and comes with a vastly superior chipset. I'm struggling to understand how Intel thinks they can even hope to compete with ARM with this design when even AMD has them beat.

And as others have pointed out, is this brain-dead chip really needed in a desktop computer? I can see the merits of where they are headed in the mobile space, but for the desktop? Why not just undervolt/underclock a standard part as AMD have done?

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Criminals hijack terminals to swipe Chip-and-PIN data

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Happy

@John Dougald McCallum

Fair comment, but if that were the case then the problem is mine to deal with either by paying with cash or another card with a working chip, or the retailer could whip out his antiquated roll-over imprinting machine (yes, they're still accepted just for this kind of situation) and I would physically sign the receipt.

So far my chip has never failed to work, maybe because I keep my cards in a wallet, and I haven't had to swipe the mag stripe on a card for at least 3-4 years, so I reckon I can live without the mag stripe entirely if it reduces the liklehood of me being defrauded.

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@Steven Jones/David Wilson

I wouldn't object if my bank offered me a web based system that allowed me to specify the countries where my card can be used, and even the types of transactions that should be authorised (or perhaps more easily, the types of transactions that should NOT be authorised, eg. cash advances). If I do go on vacation to Malaysia then I can add that country before I go and remove when I return, and if I forget to add it before I leave I can always give Egg a quick call (or I could use an internet cafe, but that has security implications of it's own!) As my Egg credit card is managed entirely online this would be an easy addition for them.

Take this further and we can specify the transaction amounts above which the automatic notification SMS message should be sent, or the level at which transactions should be flagged as suspicious (but not necessarily fraudulent, eg. above £500).

Of course non of the above would be necessary if Chip & PIN wasn't so insecure in the first place.

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Neil
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@Clive Galway

"Trash your mag strip today folks! It's the simplest way to defeat this. Every time you are going on holiday, order a new card, then trash the mag strip again when you get back."

Clive that won't solve the problem - your card can have it's details copied from a Chip & PIN machine in the UK, and those details can then sent abroad where a cloned card is created with your card details written to the magnetic strip whereupon your account is fraudulently debited by vendors that still process cards with magnetic strips. Your card doesn't have to leave the UK for this to happen, nor does it even have to have a magnetic strip for a cloned card with magnetic strip to be created overseas...!

The best option would be to instruct your bank to refuse to authorise ALL magnetic strip transactions on your account, with the option to allow transaction for a short period if/when you do go abroad. But as far as I know this isn't possible - if it were I'd sign up for it.

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Neil
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@Adam Foxton

Sorry, but I really don't want my Bank calling me up several times a day - that would be a sure fire way for me to revert to carrying large amounts of cash around with me!

There are better solutions already available to the Banks that don't require them to harass their customers every time they transact more than a few quid, but whether they implement these solutions depends on the Banks doing their job properly and not cutting corners to save themselves a few pennies.

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Neil
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@Steven Jones

> The interesting thing is if the encrypted data from the chip in

> the credit card can be read.

Chip & PIN devices in use today in the UK are flawed and allow the card details - including PIN and account number - to be eavesdropped 'in the clear' using nothing more than a bent paperclip, needle and a laptop.[1]

The system is rubbish, the notion of increased customer security is a fraud in it's own right perpetrated by the Banks. If I'm ripped off again I'll be requesting a Chip & Signature card pronto as I have no faith in Chip & PIN protecting me in future, it's just random luck that my card isn't cloned each time I use it.

And for anyone using a debit card for anything other than ATM transactions: What on Earth are you thinking of? Are you mad??! Have fun paying your direct debits etc. once your cloned debit card has been used to empty your current account!

1. http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-711.pdf - section 2.2

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Neil
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Unhappy

Marks & Spencers @ London Bridge

Yes, Marks & Spencers London Bridge. That's where I'm pretty sure it happened to me, late on a Friday night when I popped in there about a month ago. The entire weekend and Monday morning following some wormbag(s) caned my card in a little village in northern Malaysia making Visa cash withdrawals (information gleaned from my online statement). Egg tried and failed to contact me on Monday afternoon and automatically barred my card - all money was subsequently returned and a new card issued. A minor inconvenience (as it was only a credit card, would have been far more serious had it been a debit card) but it's pretty obvious that Chip & PIN has been blown wide open and a better system is needed with end-to-end encryption.

And since the magnetic strip contains all my details and this system is still in use abroad, and I have no immediate plans to go abroad, I'd be happy to instruct my bank to decline all transactions that make use of the magnetic strip method. The Bank could even issue me a card without a magnetic strip, I don't need it, and since the Bank would know I don't have a magnetic strip any such transactions would clearly be fraudulent.

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Happy

Banks should consider Gridsure

GrIDsure (gridsure.com) seems to be a cheap and apparently more secure alternative to PINs, but of course while Banks are too tight to encrypt transactions end-to-end then it's likely that no system will be sufficiently secure.

From GrIDsure:

"How does it work?

Instead of hard-to-remember PINs / passwords, GrIDsure substitutes a different kind of ‘shared secret’ - based on picking a number of squares on a grid to make a memorable pattern or shape, such as an 'L' or a 'tick'. At authentication time the grid is filled with random numbers, which 'presents' to the user in his/her pattern positions a new set of 'PIN' or pass-codes. The numbers in the grid change each time it appears and thus so does the PIN. It’s far easier to use, as users don’t have to hold ‘cold’ strings of characters in their heads, and it’s much more secure as it cannot easily be shoulder surfed, key-logged or the user impersonated."

And GrIDsure is a British company too (I have no affiliation etc. etc.).

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PS3 DVR add-on launch delayed

Neil
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@AC - Where did you get your Tivo from?

I bought it in Curries late 2000 for £400 and immediately paid £200 for the lifetime EPG service - the best money I have ever spent on a gadget, bar none. The TiVo has been in use everyday since then and has been utterly reliable, another reason why it shames the less complicated Sky hardware. After installing a CacheCard NIC and TiVoWeb software, scheduling programs from work has also been a reality for 5 or 6 years! Maybe Sky will implement their own sub-standard version eventually, and charge extra for it.

Have a look on eBay for second hand TiVo Series 1 units, they can still be had with lifetime service for less than the cost of the lifetime service alone!! Then again, why did your TiVo die? If it was the power supply have a look at www.tivoheaven.co.uk for spares and other upgrades - if it was your hard drive(s), replace it/them yourself (easy enough to do with a PC) or again www.tivoheaven.co.uk will sort you out.

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Neil
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Flame

@NoOnions

NoOnions, I guess you've never seen a TiVo PVR then?

Even my 8+ year old UK Series 1 TiVo p1sses all over Sky+/SkyHD (I have the latter so can speak from experience). The Sky PVR interface is horrid: slow, clunky, not very intuitive, lacking in features other better PVRs have had for years and the SkyHD box crashes far to often - it's only ignorance that allows Sky to get away with it. And Sky Series Links are a joke, seriously they make me laugh when I think how poorly they've been implemented and they get deleted whenever a series is no longer showing, how dumb is that? When the new series/season of the programme is shown you don't record it because your series link was deleted months before, haha! Ah TiVo, thank you for doing it so right all that time ago!

I can't stand using the SkyHD interface, 30x FF is no different to 12x FF and it's like wading through treacle whenever I want to skip an advert. I know have my TiVo record everything, and whenever an HD programme is to be recorded it tells the SkyHD box to record it as well, so the only time I have to go near the SkyHD UI is when I want to watch the HD recorded content. It's the best compromise until TiVo return to the UK, but with Murdoch illegally restricting access to the CAM it's unlikely TiVo will offer Sky Digital support. :(

Sorry for the Sky vs. TiVo rant but seriously, it's time people in this country realised they're being peddled utter sh1te by Murdoch while at the same time he illegally restricts entry to the Sky TV market from better products than his own, which could conceivably include a PS3 with dual Sky tuners and Sky CAM.

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Inquirer celebrates spammer murder-suicide

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Unhappy

Funny how there are no comments against the original Inquirer article

I know I posted a comment highlighting the poor taste and insensitivity of the article, and that it did the Inquirer no favours. I guess it sums them up when they write an article like that, and then silence any form of subsequent criticism. T0ssers.

(The article is still available on the Inquirer, but it's disappeared from their front page, so I maybe someone there has an ounce of common sense, but still not enough).

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US PS3 sales surge

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Joke

@Really?

"It comes as no surprise though that The Register puts an overly positive pro-Sony twist on all this as they didn't even cover hardly any of the extremely positive news from Microsoft and Nintendo from E3 yet gave plenty of coverage to Sony's mediocre, almost irrelevant news. The Register, like Sony fanboys simply can't accept the facts this time round. Facts, that even Sony themselves now accept."

Well it depends on your perspective, ie. whether you're a Microsoft/Nintendo fanboy or not. Cleary you're not a Sony fanboy, but many of the reviews I've read covering the Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony announcements at E3 slated Microsoft for slavishly copying the competition with their new avatars and lacklustre services, while praising Nintendo and Sony for their new hardware, services and/or games. So, please step forward the Microsoft-fanboy - there's always at least one! I don't care about any of the 3 console manufacturers, but your clearly biased fanboy rant did make me laugh. Pot, kettle, black eh?

Joke Alert because fanboys are always good for laugh.

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Can T-Mobile get an Android onto US market in '08?

Neil
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Boffin

I've been running Android on my Nokia...

...N810 Internet Tablet for the past week. Android is pretty impressive for what is an unfinished product, it actually performs as well if not better than the stock Nokia Maemo OS (Diablo), and it's clear that Android is designed with the mobile device in mind while the Nokia Maemo OS is just a badly thought out hash job with desktop applications ported to a mobile device but retaining their desktop UI. Android looks good, and if the apps deliver on their promise it will make an interesting and credible alternative to the iPhone. Symbian, Windows Mobile and Palm will have some catching up to do (or in the case of Palm, a LOT of catching up!)

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Battle of the SSD strategies: Sun vs. EMC

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@AC - Apples to Oranges

Gotta agree with you as unless we've both missed the point entirely the SUN and EMC cache technologies are complementary, not competing with each other.

I don't understand why the author says Dell, HP and IBM can "combine the Sun and the EMC approaches" as if to say that a SUN server/EMC array combination is impossible... nonsense.

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Gigabyte intros tablet-style Eee rival

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@M528 - complete ripoff of N810

If Gigabyte et al can copy the Nokia Internet Tablet form factor and avoid the mistakes Nokia have made (poor quality software, poor hardware design) then full credit to them. After all, wasn't it Nokia that said they are not averse to copying something if it's good?

Nokia had a good idea - they just executed it poorly. They may still have a chance as they're on ARM not Intel and may have better battery lifetime as a result, but their next firmware update (aka "Diablo" or Maemo 4.1 or IT OS 2008 v4, due any week now) had better be good and their next new hardware design needs to avoid the mistakes in their previous models (dodgey touchscreen, poor video subsystem, completely wasted 3D hardware, appaling camera quality etc.).

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SanDisk makes sub-SSDs for sub-laptops

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@Chippy

> I first did this about 2 years ago. There are thousands of

> home brew "car pcs" that do the same, nothing new,

> desktop pcs are even easier.

Yep, I know about CF-IDE adapters, I wasn't so much wanting this in my desktop rather I was just asking how long it will be before some enterprising Taiwanese manufacturer produces a pSSD adapter for desktops!

Until we know the price of a pSSD, it seems irrelevant comparing it with CF+IDE adapter etc. - who knows, pSSD might be cheaper or expensive MB for MB, and since it's purpose designed as an SSD it may even be more reliable and/or faster.

I see it's appeal as another option for desktop users with the appropriate adapter - CF+IDE adapter, pSSD+adapter or pucka SSD (or of course booting over the network...!)

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Neil
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Use with regular motherboards?

How long until I can use one (or more - RAID!) of these potentially low-cost pSSDs to boot Linux on a fanless and totally silent desktop motherboard? :)

Any signs of a pSSD-to-full-size-PATA adapter knocking about in Taiwan? I also agree that it's odd to see PATA and not SATA these days, perhaps it was a cost or compatability issue?

As for the name - Small Cheap Computers sums up the category, with Mobile Internet Devices/Internet Tablets for the class of device punted by Nokia (N810 etc.).

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O2: We didn't know we were capping 3G data speeds

Neil
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Pirate

O2 don't know what they're doing

"While it's hard to have confidence in a network that arbitrarily limits connection speeds"

It's also hard to have confidence in a network that arbitrarily bills it's customers for random amounts on data calls they haven't made... O2 don't seem to have a clue what they're doing, but will insist they do until the customer produces evidence to the contrary...

I'm anxiously waiting for a bill the cr@pp O2 billing system requesting substantial monies for data calls made on my old O2 phone (which is currently in an O2 repair center) on a T-Mobile SIM (which is currently in a different phone) using the number I ported out of O2 at the beginning of the month - then lets see them wriggle out of that one! Useless w@nkers.

Pirates, because that who seem to be running O2 accounts... If you had Coco the Clown he'd have been my first choice for the jokers running the network...

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O2 PR calls Reg readers 'techie nerds'

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Happy

Later today I will be an ex-O2 customer...

I'm so glad that later on today (Thursday) my number ports out of O2 after 12 years and ports into T-Mobile where I get more free minutes, more free texts and high-speed HSDPA internet access for *less* than I was paying O2 per month... I'd have stayed with O2 if their data tariffs weren't so jaw droppingly crap, and if they had a modern network - O2 has to be the worst network for data. Yes you PR fcktards, 3 are in fact better than O2!

O2 are also a bunch of price gouging karnts who will bill you extortionate amounts for GPRS data calls that you haven't made - and I mean you know for sure you didn't make the data call, because it took place at ridiculous o'clock - like 5am - when you were sound asleep. And no, my phone isn't configured to make 1.5 hour 28MB data calls all by itself. Yet O2 won't back down as the computer says I made the call, and we all know computers can't be wrong... If you're with O2, check your bills carefully. Better still, move to a network that won't extort money from you like O2.

O2: FOAD.

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Sony pledges Blu-ray Profile 2.0 PS3 update this month

Neil
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Dead Vulture

@Mosquito noise reduction??

Doh - this refers to removal of "noise" (artefacts) from the video, not reduction of audible noise generated by the PS3 during operation!

As for the interactive content - so not interested. PIP might be useful for the very few times that I actually watch ant of the commentary tracks.

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Ex-MS staffer to demo Vista smart card hack

Neil
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@Fatty Treats

RE: "Care to share what this unnamed ahead-of-its-time used by a multitude of unnamed infamous companies is?"

AS/400 with OS/400.

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Nokia boards Silverlight express

Neil
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Linux

This is all about competition

Adobe has a monopoly on Flash, and neglect the platforms that matter. Companies have to go cap in hand to Adobe with an open wallet to get support for their platforms, and all because Adobe can pick and choose where *IT* want it's technology to be... the lack of a credible open source Flash Player has harmed Adobe otherwise I think device manufacturers would be showing more loyalty to Adobe at this time. As it is, they're sick and tired of Adobe's arrogance and wilful neglect of new technology and the power they wield, hence the support now being shown to Microsoft as an alternative which should put a fcking fire under Adobe's arse and get them pro actively innovating on all fronts. Adobe AIR/Flex may be more open than Flash, and may have cross platform support but Adobe could well have already burned their bridges.

Ultimately, I don't care if Silverlight is by Microsoft or anyone else when the current monopoly player is so far up it's own arse. Mobile platforms are the future, and they're not all going to be running a Microsoft OS - Microsoft knows this, and it's just a shame Adobe didn't see it coming years ago.

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Logitech revamps Squeezebox as Duet

Neil
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@Could be good

Remember what happened to the "IR Blaster" feature in the Squeezebox 3 where you could hook up an infra-red blaster to the headphone socket and have the SB3 relay IR commands over your WiFi network to remote IR devices?

To me it sounded like a great idea, but it was never really implemented to anyones satisfaction and is in fact now dropped on the new Squeeze Receiver (it has no headphone port).

I love my Squeezebox and I love open source but I am under no illusion that open source will deliver every time and save the day. So for a company to charge a premium for powerful hardware that will only be fully utilised IF the open source community delivers the goods seems somewhat like a p1ss take, not to mention a major gamble.

Logitech should reduce the price of the remote to something more reasonable, or upgrade the functionality. Depending on the open source community to make up the value add seems a risky option.

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Neil
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@Paul

I don't dispute the remote control is powerful, but much of it's power will be left to the community to implement (ie. IR support for other devices) which basically means there's a good chance that it's power will not be utilised at all. For $299 I would expect more capability out of the box and not leave so much to chance.

The lack of buttons is the biggest problem though, it really does restrict it to Squeezebox duties and not much else. I have a Squeezebox/3 and can't see myself forking out $299 for one of these, whereas if I were buying a Squeezebox from scratch I would consider it - so realistically it may only appeal to new buyers, or existing owners with multiple Squeezeboxen already installed. Existing single SB3 owners are unlikely to be tempted due to the high price/restricted functionality.

But if it had more buttons, and could control the rest of my AV kit I'd be very, very tempted.

If they released the application running on this remote on my Nokia Internet Tablet (after all, the remote is just a WiFi enabled ARM computer running the SqueezeOS interpreting Lua) I'd be interested in paying for the software, say anything up to $30. But the Logitech hardware is overpriced for what it is - the Nokia N800 is a more capable ARM computer and can be had for $230.

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Neil
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Nice idea but...

It's just another remote control to clutter my lounge. If I could use this Squeezebox Duet remote as a universal remote pulling AV Reciever and TV double duty I'd be all over this like a rash, but unfortunately it's not capable of controlling anything other than a Squeezebox, which is a great shame. And a missed oppurtunity.

Maybe later in the year Logitech will release a Harmony remote that can control both a Squeezebox and all my other AV equipment. Until then I'll have to pass.

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