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* Posts by StephenD

40 posts • joined 1 Jul 2010

European Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

StephenD

Re: Which services are they actually talking about?

Remarkably, I get Gmail at number 19 when searching for 'free webmail'.

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France KICKS UK into THIRD PLACE for public Wi-Fi hotspots

StephenD

Re: Who cares?

Agreed: by the time you've eliminated those which require the elaborate sign-up dance, and the elaborate login dance, and the give-us-your-money dance, and those which are broken because the host doesn't know how to maintain the system, and those where the connection is so slow as to be useless, and those which require me to receive a verification text message on my data-only tablet, and those that are time-limited, what's left is far more often a hindrance than a help.

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Windows 8 or nowt: Consumer Win 7 fans are OUT OF LUCK

StephenD

Re: A year?

In the temperate southern hemisphere, spring 2015 is about a year from now.

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Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

StephenD

"More or less nothing"?

If you've heard nothing, maybe it's because you haven't been listening in the right places.

Try http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/ or http://rosetta.esa.int/ or https://www.facebook.com/RosettaMission or https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta, plus various tech/astronomy websites, etc. etc.

Even the Mail Online, once past the populist dross, gives reasonable coverage: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2721752/The-face-Rosettas-comet-Eerily-human-features-spotted-67P-icy-rock-hurtles-deep-space.html

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Ofcom: UK beats the US... in race to buy online tat

StephenD

Re: Que?

The weird thing is my brain substituted 'month' for 'week' automatically, and I couldn't understand the original problem until I read AC's reply.

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Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

StephenD

But not on Sundays, so they have a Monday opening time (6am round here).

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Londoners in mass test of telly tech savvy as 4G filters mailed out

StephenD

I read it to mean that 63% of primary TVs (living room) are watching via satellite (whether that be Sky or Freesat) or cable. Seems high to me, but it at least makes sense in principle. Most secondary TVs (bedrooms, kitchens, etc.) are then still using Freeview, which is where the wording of the article perhaps becomes loose.

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The supercomputers LIED: UK rainfall is rising, but won't drown our phones

StephenD

Re: Not wanting to pour cold water on a good rant....

Not quite.

The data shows the increase (or decrease) in extreme rainfall events. Ofcom couldn't care less about how often it rains or the total rainfall, but extremely heavy rain is what it is apparently interested in.

The data show that the heaviest rainfall rates (the 0.01% of top rainfall rates) have generally got heavier, and therefore more likely to interfere with communications (among other problems).

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Belgian boffins find colossal meteorite

StephenD

Re: Why...

If a bit of rock is found on the surface of the ice in Antarctica (or at any rate in an intelligently chosen subset of such locations), it is a meteorite, pretty much guaranteed. And rocks show on ice very well. And not many people about. And in places the ability to survey large areas with relative ease.

Taken together, they make it an ideal hunting ground. Compare temperate zones where there are rocks everywhere, lots of forest and private land, etc.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

StephenD
Thumb Down

Still no buttons

Still no page-turning buttons on these new Kindles. Why? Sure, the touch-screen interface is great for navigation, etc., but I spend very little time navigating, and most of the time reading. The page-turn buttons on my Kindle Keyboard get pressed thousands of times a week. Surely the cost of including real page-turn buttons in addition to the touchscreen would be tiny. The focus should be on making the reading experience perfect. That "horribly intrusive" flash to refresh the screen bothers me not one jot - but having to stick my thumb in front of the text every page seems a lot more intrusive and is definitely a retrograde step.

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Amazon quietly un-wipes remotely wiped Kindle

StephenD

Re: Restored?

...but Norway is in the Single Market (except for agriculture and fisheries).

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OLYMPIC SECRETS to stay locked up for 15 YEARS

StephenD

Re: 50km if they were printed out...

The 0.73 might raise a few eyebrows.

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BT gets postcode knickers in twist, plants Shoreditch on Mount Everest

StephenD

To be fair...

...the site does say to "Enter your full postcode". It should deal more elegantly with those who fail to follow instructions and enter "N1" and the like, but garbage in, garbage out, and all that.

What a surprise - the 13 exchanges around me are all described as "Not currently in rollout plans".

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Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

StephenD
FAIL

Clearly not for me

I thought I'd look for interest at the quotes being offered for me.

One refused to quote because I'm too old (at 38)

One refused to quote because I do too many miles per year (25,000)

One refused to quote because I use the car to drive to business meetings.

One refused to quote because parking sensors have been fitted to the car.

Not quite ready for the mainstream yet?

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Shock sales surge sends Amazon shares soaring

StephenD

Re: How is it a shock sales surge...

I don't think there is any requirement for a shock to be nasty, just surprising, though they often go together.

Chambers: 1 a strong emotional disturbance, especially a feeling of extreme surprise, outrage or disgust.

Concise OED: 1. a sudden upsetting or surprising event or experience

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Amazon Kindle Touch touches down early

StephenD

Touch easier?

Agree with all of that, but actually I spent 95% of the time on my Kindle reading books (who'd have guessed it?) and much prefer the handily placed buttons for page advance than moving a finger over the screen and back every page. Each to their own, but retaining the page advance buttons on the touch versions would have seemed to have kept the best of both worlds.

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Browsium rescues HMRC from IE6 – and multimillion-pound bill

StephenD

Extended support

I was under the impression that XP SP3 extended support ends in 2014, not 2012:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

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Hold on a sec - leap seconds granted a last-minute reprieve

StephenD
Thumb Down

But the time mid-way between sunrise and sunset or when the sun is at its highest in the sky isn't fixed, either, but varies considerably (more than 30 minutes) during the course of the year.

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Gov: DAB must battle on, despite being old and rubbish

StephenD

Anachronistic perhaps, but sounds terrible?

My new car has a wonderful analogue radio rather than the DAB one I had in my previous car. The FM quality is similar or worse than DAB, and the MW & LW quality much worse. And the choice of stations is reduced.

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Play.com swallowed by Rakuten

StephenD
WTF?

Changing the tax law costs virtually nothing - from the perspective of the Treasury, the ROI on such a move is vast.

£130m here, £130m there, pretty soon you're talking serious money.

I don't buy the "because someone's been profligate with public money in one area (many areas) we can therefore ignore everything else" argument. Improving procurement procedures so that we get what we need (not more and not less) for the right price is _much_ more difficult than changing the tax law.

As a play.com customer I find it hard to justify such a loophole.

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Local radio stations band together against DAB

StephenD

I refer you to my comment about aerials not being up to the job. I get an uninterrupted signal between the A14 and Diss; can't comment about further north.

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StephenD

DAB is excellent

Well, not quite, but I thought I'd try to introduce a little balance.

I have DAB in the car and the range of stations available to me in rural Suffolk is vastly superior to FM - I can actually find things I want to listen to. Possibly the bit rate is poor but I'm afraid I can't tell: it sounds the same as FM most of the time and better the rest.

I have driven 120,000 miles in the car and have had barely a handful of signal dropouts on national stations. And listening to Test Match Special on Five Live Sports Extra is pleasant and practical - compare with the same programme on Radio 4 long wave where the quality in the car is hideous and I used to get deafened every time I went under a high voltage cable.

Are too many DAB radios being sold with aerials that aren't up to the job?

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Ten years after the Twin Towers: What's the Reg angle?

StephenD
WTF?

This doesn't make sense unless the real conspiracy theory is why El Reg has been keeping from us the fact that time travel has been perfected.

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ISS 'naut shoots first ever 3D footage in space

StephenD

Not just you

In my admittedly limited experience, I find the glasses uncomfortable to wear over my prescription glasses, find the outcome fuzzy even if occasionally impressive, and am generally underwhelmed.

Last time I went to the cinema I had pre-purchased 2D tickets for a film with a 3D option - the showing of the 2D version was full so it was 3D or nothing for latecomers.

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Scientists devise 260GB CD-size glass disc storage tech

StephenD

Odd units of measurement

"a disc of glass no bigger than the screen of a basic mobile phone". I don't quite understand - surely you mean with a diameter of about one fifth of a linguine?

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Explaining the Chocolate Factory's Patent Panic

StephenD

Satan

Agreed - I've always seen it as a car.

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Orange signals mobile broadband tariff tweaks

StephenD
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Tweaks?

"Tweaks"? Surely some mistake. What they meant was "price increases".

I'm on a £7.50/mo plan with Orange which gives me 1Gb a month, which is more than adequate for my occasional use. Is this now available as "Microscopic" or would I have to pay 33% more for "Small" to get less?

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Spam volumes show massive drop - but why?

StephenD
WTF?

Something odd in the maths

"Symantec reports that junk mail volumes that reached a high of 230 billion spam messages per day in July 2010, 90 per cent of all email traffic, are down to 39.2 billion messages per day, 72.9 per cent of all email."

So in July 2010, total email was 230 / 0.9 = 256 billion

Now, total email is 39.2 / 0.729 = 54 billion.

Email volumes have not dropped by 80%. Shurely some mishtake.

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Samsung readies 'world's first' solar netbook

StephenD

...and moreover

Most of us have the screen facing slightly up, so the back will be facing partly downwards.

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Lloyds TSB signs up to Olympic Phone pay-by-wave plan

StephenD

Only Visa

And even worse, what really grates with me is the "We're proud only to accept Visa". Really? Proud to inconvenience customers?

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Volvo demos automobile auto-pilot tech

StephenD
Megaphone

Professional drivers

From the SARTRE website: "A scheme will be developed whereby a lead vehicle with a professional driver will take responsibility for a platoon."

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Hitachi refrigerates rack rears

StephenD
WTF?

Money for nothing?

"For every kilowatt of power you put in it produces 43.5 kilowatts of cooling capacity".

What does this mean? I'm pretty sure they haven't produced a power source with greater than 100% efficiency, or else they'd be jumping up and down a bit more.

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Firefox wraps its gums around the iPhone

StephenD

Bother away...

And if you don't have MobileMe (and don't want to pay for it)?

Surely the reason why Firefox bothered is in your statement that the problem is with Apple - Firefox are drawing attention to the situation in a clear but non-confrontational way.

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iPhone users get more sex than Android fans

StephenD
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Get it right, please

I know headlines are supposed to grab attention, but they should be accurate too and reflect the data in the article. More partners is not the same as more sex.

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Beeb deploys ISS as unit of measurement

StephenD

Billions

There are some arguments that it's wise to give up on, however correct you are. This one was "lost" several decades ago and I'm afraid most British people use the "American" billion.

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StephenD
FAIL

Speeding sheep

Put a sheep on the next Soyuz up to the ISS, give it a good kick it out of the door, and I think you'll find it is doing just over 100% of the speed of the ISS.

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Hot babes discriminated against by some employers

StephenD

Trick-cyclist

Trick-cyclist = psychiatrist.

Marginally more relevant, but still seems a bit peripheral.

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Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

StephenD

Normally

Quite -- an interesting use of the word "normally" which I wasn't previously aware of.

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'Unlimited' ads are dumb and misleading, says 3

StephenD

Straight faces

I can understand how they can advertise it with a straight face - they're in business to make money and will try to get away with whatever they legally can.

What I can't for the life of me understand is how the ASA can reject complaints about this with a straight face. It beggars belief.

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The 3G coverage picture that can't be published

StephenD

FOI

Section 43 of the FOI Act exempts from its provisions information the release of which might prejudice someone's commercial interests (it's bound to prejudice someone's). Admittedly there is a public interest clause to set against this, but you're starting uphill.

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