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* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

2854 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

Sarkozy: Microsoft represents all that is great about France

Robert E A Harvey
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Legion D'Honneur ?

There is another French Tradition I think they should honour Mr Balmer with.

And he would be lying down when it was awarded.

I'll get me knitting.

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Boffin breakthrough doubles Wi-Fi speed

Robert E A Harvey
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Umm.

I started my working life as a ship's radio officer in the 1960s. All the gear was based on thermionic valves. Now most of the traffic was still WT and 'keying' used to close down the receiver to avoid overload. But we had these exotic things called RT that allowed telephony. And the gear allowed for simplex, half-duplex, & full duplex working. These folks are talking about full duplex.

The trick then was frequency domain separation. Any decent communications receiver had an IF strip with very steep 'sides' to the selectivity. A few tens of KHz separation on a 16MHz base worked just fine. People could talk & listen at the same time without messing about with pressels.

Now if they are trying to achieve full duplex on the same frequency, yes that is clever but I don't think even the proposed trick is novel. I think it was called 'RF bucking'

And it suggests that the people who did the original wifi band planning were twits.

And the idea of it doubling throughput is doubtful. Traffic is rarely symmetrical. Hardly likely to make the iPlayer stream 'Top Gear' any quicker is it?

(pressel == PTT)

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AdBlock Plus: Open source for fun (not funds)

Robert E A Harvey
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I'm guessing...

...that the full interviews will be in printmedia somewhere

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Robert E A Harvey
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The collaborative motive

I think all of this was best summed up by the 'Stone Soup' fable that used to be part of the documentation for Fractint. People achieve more together than apart.

Now it has been some years since I released code under the GPL but my motive whenever I did was to (unknowingly) get more value out of the work I'd put in. I had spent a couple of days solving a problem that I knew other people would need to solve as well. Why should they waste their time when a solution existed? And, of course, I got the chance to pay back something for all the GPL code I was using.

Look at Wikipedia. For all the lies, self-agrandisment, turf wars, and us tv series it is infected with, the core content is fantastically useful, and has been contributed to make the world a better place. I love where I live, and want to share that pleasure with other folk, so I freely give my photos to Geograph. No individual photo is worth anything to me, I still have it to look at. But together everyone's pictures becomes a special thing.

It seems to me that this is a very old idea. Mathematicians have usually been sponsored in one way or another, but their researches have been given away freely to benefit us all. The output did not become the private property of anyone.

In the 20th century people started keeping algorithms secret, proprietory. In the 21st century the trend continues. The world is a worse place fr it.

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What sealed Nokia's fate?

Robert E A Harvey
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that's the bunny!

@dogged:

>Specifically, you mean Ramone Dexter from Sinister/Dexter.

You clearly have a better memory than I. A trawl through the character names on their web site does raise a smile.

Ta.

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Robert E A Harvey
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generally, yes

OK things like "changing the microSD card causes WP7 to restore factory defaults" are double-plus-ungood, but you notice some of the opposition have no removable storage at all.

I'm on record elsewhere as explaining that, no matter how good the code and UI might be in the short term, I have no faith in the long term, having been burned too many times before.

What is surprising is that a company the size of Microsoft can take so long to come up with something that is only "remarkably good" and that it is "remarkably good" at doing only what everyone else is already doing.

Surprise me, Nokia and Redmond. Think of something new.

Remember that Black guy from "AD2000" who had a sony logo on his eyebrow? Built-in TV and cellphone? That would do for a start.

Or if you want something simpler, look at my Jabra Stone bluetooth headset. I have to dock it with the battery to charge it up. Why can't I dock it with the phone? And the act of undocking it confirms the pairing?

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Sun spews out massive solar flare

Robert E A Harvey
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Alien

I, For one, welcome...

What's the betting this gets the blame for the first WP7 bugs?

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Nokia's developers wait and wait for Windows Phone

Robert E A Harvey
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Simple, and easy to understand

I like explanations like that!

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Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

What exactly do Microsoft have to do to get a positive article...

Innovate?

Come up with a really good system? Windows 7 has not had a bad reception here, compared to Vista. Do things right and people will appreciate it.

Stop anti-competitive and voracious business practices?

Stop over-charging for development environments?

Produce programmer's interfaces that remain stable through version upgrades?

Stop behaving as though they own the world?

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Airport face-scanning robots switched off

Robert E A Harvey
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Can't tell arse from face

You start with "Can't tell arse from face" and then throw in "facial recognition gates"

And you REALLY don't expect me to read that as 'faecal recognition'?

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Microsoft polishes Windows Phone 7

Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

Back story

My wife has bought me various toys at Christmas time. The palm V was brilliant, life changing. I was able to debug NMEA navigation systems with the RS232 port, connect to sun servers with telnet & vnc & get my cix mail with a modem. Brilliant, simple, never went wrong.

She bought me a linux pda once, for which no updates ever came, So next time she bought me a windows phone/pda from HP, thinking that M$ could be relied on if it didn't work. Guess what.?

Then I got a windows phone to take to Korea. ver 6 Garbage, absolute garbage. Then I got bought a newer one with GPS, and never got that to accept my address book, or send sms. or run any gps software.

That's getting on for a thousand quid of our money down the toilet on Redmond's earlier efforts, partly because there were no working alternatives. Why should I take yet another punt, especially when their trading practices are so consumer-unfriendly? And when I do now have a choice?

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Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

Microsoft polishes Windows Phone 7

"Turd, meet Cherry Blossom".

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Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers

Robert E A Harvey
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Headmaster

Primary schools

The initial graphic was about Primary schools. I think it was pretty shocking, but it is not the biggest problem in that sector. There are still plenty of people in education who think it 'inappropriate' for men to teach in Primary school.

Do you think that people that far up their own agenda are going to give a stuff about mathematics or future employment or the good of the country?

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Old folks' phones set to take over from nurses

Robert E A Harvey
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Joke

Hmm

Glad this isn't on WP7... "overdoseGuard.exe has performed and illegal operation and will be shut down. OK?"

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The repeal bill: what's left in, what's left out

Robert E A Harvey
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reply

1. The available punishments for all crimes are laid down in statute or guidelines. That seems a pretty good way to decide what is likely to lead to a jail term.

2. The french, swedish, etc. get on pretty well with inquisitorial magistrates. Are we a special case, then?

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Robert E A Harvey
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Bring back the stocks

I have a number of suggestions for them:

Bring back the stocks, for a start. Nothing like leaving someone out in the rain for two days to soil his pants and get laughed at by his mates as punishment for behaving like a dick.

Ban Lawyers in all cases not likely to result in a prison sentence. On both sides. let the Judge ask some searching questions, and allow questions from the public gallery.

Ban TV adverts for compensation lawyers, or in fact any sort of land shark at all.

Replace the insurance and banking ombudsmen with committees of other policy holders, chosen at random by computer.

Just repeal the law that costs pubs a thousand quid for a music licence for one night, and replace it with nothing at all. Then start to ask really serious questions about why we have any controls on opening hours. Find some way to stop Greene King buying up and ruining small hotels and make them concentrate on brewing good beer again.

Remove Sky's apparent monopoly on big screens in pubs. With any luck football will stop being broadcast at all.

Oh, and bring back the Sunday trading laws. I really like Sundays in Germany where all the shops are shut. You can sit and a have a few beers in peace instead of traipsing round buying sofas and shoes and sealing wax and soup and suits and sausage and suzukis and and Sauternes and spacehoppers and stuff and stuff and stuff...

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I’m not a Trojan horse: Nokia’s Elop hits back at neigh sayers

Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

I’m not a Trojan horse

I refer the assembled members to the reply given by Miss Mandy Rice-Davies in the trial of Stephen Ward.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Teaming up with Microsoft turns it into a “three-horse race”.

Oh? is he suggesting that it wasn't already? Sounds like tacit agreement that WP7 was going nowhere.

Its still WP7. does that mean we have a 3-horse race but rather less than 12 horses legs?

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Samsung intros 10in Android tablet

Robert E A Harvey
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Misery

All this partnering with network operators is all very well, but when you live, as I do, in a VodAlone void, then Mr Smasung is cutting off my nose to spite his face.

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Sony Ericsson outs Neo, Pro smartphones

Robert E A Harvey
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Linux

Hmm

Can I access them as USB storage devices from Linux?

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Grief and disbelief greet Elop's Nokia revolution

Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

"Who cares want consumers want."

...and who cares what the Nokia shareholders want.

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Robert E A Harvey
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over the threshold

I'm reminded of all those European folk tales where the evil one is invited into the house unrecognised, and then the inevitable happens...

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Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

In five years time

It will be:

*Apple

*HTC

*Chinese Android phones

*HP & WebOS

* The odd Samsung

err.. that's it.

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Microsoft, Nokia, and MeeGo: Are they all doomed?

Robert E A Harvey
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My 2d worth

Forget about Meego. It was another Linux spin-off, and there are plenty of those. There is no compelling reason why this one is different from any other. Moblin made some sort of sense when Intel thought it could squeeze windows out of netbooks and tablets to increase margins for it's chip customers. But Nokia has dropped the Maemo ball so many times that there is nothing worthwhile to pull out of the wreckage.

HTC and, to a lesser extent, HP and Samsung will offer WP7 phones for the rest of this year, then drop it like a hot potato: they already have somewhere else to go. This might be the inadvertent making of WebOs - or did HP read the writing on the wall when Mr Elop joined Nokia?

The big mystery is what will happen to low-end phones. Most of the world, from Nairobi to my wife's mother, don't want a smart phone: they want a cheap one. That makes phone calls. WPx will never be cheap, because M$ have a revenue mindset not a volume mindset.

This could be China's moment. OvTech, C-EASY, Huawei, and all the rest are waiting in the wings. They are more than ready. Hutchison Whampoa owns '3' and could easily want to join in. They have the world-wide contacts.

We are living, as they say, in interesting times.

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DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

Robert E A Harvey
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Nasa. whine:

"Some say his left leg runs on Vax microcode..."

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US gov says it can't build an interstellar starship

Robert E A Harvey
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Alien

Don't forget

The Inertial Dampers!

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Robert E A Harvey
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Unhappy

long time scale

This timescale is another US conspiracy - this time to cheat me out of my chance to go!

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Intel defends MeeGo after Nokia defection

Robert E A Harvey
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Gates Horns

Nowhere now

Unless Intel can persuade someone like Motorola, or some other once-mighty but sleeping phone company to join it, it might as well go find something else to play with. No MeeGo phones are going to come to market.

It does all make WebOs seem so much more attractive, doesn't it?

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HP rocks Redmond with webOS PC play

Robert E A Harvey
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Coat

And the network guys over in the corner being grumpy old sods who dont agree with anything

Snore, snthak. what? What? eh?

Oh Sorry, did you want something important?

No, OK then.

I'll get back to, err, ...

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Robert E A Harvey
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Delighted

I have been depressively predicting WebOs would be too little, too late. I have been excited by this announcement. if HP can pull it off, I'll be delighted. And, am already thinking of splashing out on the pad and the phone. Bring on the PC!

Anything that chips away at M$ smugness is good, too.

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Nokia Digital Radio Headset DAB

Robert E A Harvey
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Nokia Digital Radio Headset DAB

I appear to have had a stroke, or something.

I keep reading that as "Nokia Hospital Radio Headset DAB"

Must be the headset associations.

Oh look, here comes someone with a white coat...

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Robert E A Harvey
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Headmaster

Ah.

That would be especially handy if you spoke Strine, Danish, Swedish, (4languages), German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Funny English, Cantonese, Malay, etc, etc.

I'll get me language lab disks

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Robert E A Harvey
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Battery life?

The complex processing has always meant that DAB is power-hungry. My Sony portable can eat 4xAA batteries in 8 hours.

What happens to the phones? what do nokia say happens?

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Creative Ziio 7in Android tablet

Robert E A Harvey
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2.1

There is something very interesting emerging.

Almost every reviewed android product still comes with 2.1 and 2.2 'promised'. This is at a time when android 3 is being talked about. Why on earth are people bringing products to market with an out-of-date OS on?

I would have thought that once the hardware design was stable that porting from 2.1 to 2.2 would be a breeze. It obviously isn't. And from what people say about e.g. Motorola once the porting is done manufacturers would rather cut their hands off than go do it again.

Now, compare that with debian or windows on the desktop. If version x will run then version x+1 is guaranteed to fall on without difficulty. I bet no-one has launched a vista based laptop this year.

Now I realise that android is cross-compiled, that the kernel and drivers are optimised for that particular hardware. But surely once all that work is done it should be transparent to versions? Are the hal layers really rip-up-and-start-again?

I think that the difficulty in getting the next version on, even for manufacturers, even before product launch, suggests that things need to be made a lot more consistent and simple. It doesn't sound like a finished product to me.

This looks like a huge achillies heel to me. Once the market buzz and fashion has worn off, are we going to find that android is another prommable but not upgradable OS?

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First WACy handset goes widget mad

Robert E A Harvey
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Competition is good

This is how capitalism works. Jolly good, and good luck to them all. But it does rather smack of mee-tooo desperatism.

can no-one in the listed giants come up with an Original idea that we will all flock to?

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Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun

Robert E A Harvey
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BTW, U3 blows too,

I took great pleasure, whenever I removed U3 from a stick, in filling in the box which asked why.

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Android's on top – will Nokia and RIM let it in?

Robert E A Harvey
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Its a win-win for both companies?

Only if WP7 is any good. Since it doesn't seem to be, then you end up with more of a win-fail.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Clinging to the wreckage

It's customary to cling to something when you are in danger of sinking, but it seems to me that choosing WP7 would be like clinging to the wreckage of the engine, rather than to the lifeboat. Microsoft is clearly going down of its own accord.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Different focus

I think Nokia might have made more of a success of meego or QT if it wasn't continually distracting itself re-engineering the same phones over and over again as new indistinguishable handsets, if it had not so consistently whored itself to dodgy network operators who wanted things that ticked all the buzzwords, but were so cheap they didn't actually do any of the things on the box well enough to be useful.

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Smartphones 'out sell' PCs for first time

Robert E A Harvey
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Nonsense

This is a worthless statistic. Like the time that Panasonic told the world that Microwave ovens were outselling electric cookers. it didn't mean microwaves were more popular, it just meant that everyone had an electric cooker already and they last four times as long as microwave ovens.

Most people who want a PC have already got one, at least in countries where people can afford smartphones. And you can easily make a PC last 5 years. Smartphones, especially those on contracts that offer upgrades, will be lucky to get to 2 years. That does not include any evidence that 'the smartphone is the new personal computer of choice'

This statistic is about as meaningful as saying that sheets of toilet paper out sell crinoline doll toilet roll covers. Tosh and drivel.

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Oz road safety strategy moots mobile phone ban

Robert E A Harvey
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Hurrah!

Damn good idea. Do it today!

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Pentax 645D medium format digital camera

Robert E A Harvey
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you know, that's just what I was thinking

glue it to a peltier device and a passive heat sink, and robert's-yer-mothers-brother.

Large old area, mind, have to do the sums on the objective.

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ROBOT COP scatters LIVE GRENADES in San Francisco STREET

Robert E A Harvey
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this is not a title

ROTM?

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World shrugs as IPv4 addresses finally exhausted

Robert E A Harvey
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Just add to your /etc/network/interfaces.......

... simple as that, eh?

I'll get me granny on it straight away!

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UK probes ebook pricing

Robert E A Harvey
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Why so much?

Because publishers are greedy scum who have no idea what happened to record companies?

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Home Office crime maps go to street-level detail

Robert E A Harvey
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why can't Plod think the same way?

..Plod think...

I think You've spotted the problem right there.

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Robert E A Harvey
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for December 2010 only.

For some unfathomable reason it will be accumulating data from now on. Why historic data can't be included with a couple of quick SQL commands to populate it from the old data I can't imagine.

I suppose the police are going to be even busier now, dragging google map orange markers onto the place where Sharon says that Dave sent her a text threatening to slash her.

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Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

out of town

street-level mapping may preserve anonymity in metropolitan areas, but what about farming areas?

If you live in Guthram Gowt, and it says 1 violent crime (it doesn't today) then the equation is simple. Either you were beating your wife or the bloke over the road was. If it wasn't you, then he has lost anonymity.

Another instance of the people who run this country thinking that UK == London.

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The future is analog (at least part of it)

Robert E A Harvey
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Music industry

I accept the basic argument that digital does not always mean better - ask listeners to radio 3 if they prefer FM or DAB. I'm working in Germany at the moment and can use the car radio to get radio 5 on MW & radio 4 on LW. No plans for cross-border broadcasting by digital.

But the music industry is a poor model over which to argue. Digital music is a HUGE success. The record companies are hurting, but that is because they are (1) Dinosaurs who tried to prevent progress (2) turning out rubbish. I am reminded of the chap on 'The Now Show' who got the biggest round of applause I have ever heard for "Downloading isn't killing the music industry, Simon Cowell is killing the music industry".

You have to ask why ancient rockers, the Beatles, and old folkies are selling so well as downloads. Could it possibly be that, like Mariachi, you only need one Rap track and you have the whole genre? Could it be that the record companies in switching from A&R to managed production have killed their own golden-egg laying goose?

I've been collecting music from the 1930s and 1940s in the last few years. All paid for, of course. But even there the record companies show their greed. These tracks are out of copyright, but they slap copytheft protection on them by applying a digital filter or something and then charge the same as for living artists. The contempt they display for customers is obvious.

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Mozilla slips 'Do Not Track' header into Firefox nightlies

Robert E A Harvey
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gesturism

As log as you are politely asking the nasty people to be nice, this will be nothing more than gesturism.

We don't need to flag the users preferences, we need to get all the suppliers assessed and flagged somehow. Independently and legitimately.

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