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* Posts by Dave 126

3885 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Dear-ly beloved: Apple’s costly iPad Mini with Retina Display

Dave 126
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>I honestly can’t see a reason for Joe Soap to favour one over, say, the Nexus 7

Software, software, and the odd bit of hardware. Most people will have their needs met by the range of apps available on Android, but there are some who will be better served by iOS - particularly in the area of music creation. More annoyingly for me (I'm an Android user) is the range of 3rd party hardware that is designed to work with iDevices (most commonly, the remote controls on wired headsets - and there is no one single Android system; even a single vendor like Sony have released Android devices with slightly different headset implementations), and hardware that works in conjunction with apps only available for iOS (some DSLRs, Adobe's upcoming Napoleon Ruler and Mighty Pen)

The converse is also true; there is no waterproof iDevice, none with built in IR, none that has NFC (though its a feature I've never used on my phone).

It's up to the individual user to asses their own wants. and decide if its worth the £100+ price difference.

(Though the Reg is not guilty of this, I'm getting bored of reading reviews of smartphone apps and games on tech-sites, and only reading at the end of the piece that it is available for iOS)

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Magnetic slurry could deliver heatsink-as-a-service

Dave 126
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Re: Neat.

Wasn't there a big American car that could, in the case of radiator damage, run on just a couple of its cylinders, and then switch to the others to avoid overheating? I seem to remember it on a Top Gear episode over ten years ago.

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Boffins ponder wireless 'hetnets' as home backhaul helpers

Dave 126
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Re: How do the propose to stop spy agencies and other criminals listening in?

Dunno. Maybe wait for that crowdsourced audit of TrueCrypt to be completed?

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Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Dave 126
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Re: Between the lines

The Anandtech review of the LG G2, which share the same chipset according to this review, suggests the chipset is responsible for a good bit of the extended battery life.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Like all Xperias the battery is fixed in place."

The battery in the Xperia Go is replaceable, but the one in the Xperia P is not- that I know from first hand experience. Other models in the range I have to take someone else's word for.

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Dave 126
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Re: Making waterproof their own

The Samsung S4 Active is also waterproof, but apparently hard to find as part of a UK tariff.

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Dave 126
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I use the FM radio on my phone from time to time. I wish it had a sleep timer though, so that falling asleep with it on doesn't deplete the battery fully.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bigger not always better

@LarsG

Behave.

Sony do update phones. My 2012 Xperia has been updated to ICS, and then again to Jelly Bean, with a smaller update after that. Not only that, but XDA consider them the friendliest vendor for custom ROMs.

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Schiller: 'Almost everyone' at Apple works on iPhones - not Macs or anything

Dave 126
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Re: yeah right.

I guess the iPod Touch is the 'budget iPhone' - it does most of the things the iPhone does, but since you're not paying full-whack then you are limited to only using it to its full in WiFi hotspots (for teenagers that means at home, round at their mate's house, on school and college campuses, coffee shops and burger joints... i.e: most places for the urban teenager)

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Dr Wolfram touts coding language to revolutionise mankind ... just like Wolfram Alpha did

Dave 126
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Re: I don't hold out much hope if WolframAlpha is a guide

It got there in the end for me... I had to click on the suggested link 'closest star to earth', and then it stalled for a minute, then gave me the answer 'The Sun'. However, a chart of the six closest stars was presented at the bottom of the page.

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Dave 126
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>most of the problems I see in our software relates to requirements that have not been adequately communicated.

That was one of the points of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL wasn't 'evil', and 'he' hadn't malfunctioned (like many prior sci-fi computers and robots); 'he' had merely been given poorly communicated instructions by humans who hadn't fully simulated the scenario (because of very human political considerations).

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Dave 126
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I just tried Wolfram Alpha on "Which city is farthest North?", and variations such as "most northerly city" and "northern city" etc... I liked the way it showed its 'thinking' (e.g it tells me that it assumes 'Northern' to be the name of a band), but it didn't give me the answer I was looking for.

I now know there is a city called North, South Carolina.

Oh well.

However, if there was a consistent and widely used synatx or language for phrasing search terms, I might be inclined to learn a bit of it.

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The right time to drink coffee

Dave 126
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Re: Only DECAF for me.

The other thing that can mess with your sleep is light of the wrong intensity and colour ('colour temperature', or 'white balance'). You can lie in bed and snooze off whilst reading a dead-tree book by the warm light of a incandescant bulb (or alternative of the right colour), but the typically cool light of a TV, laptop or tablet is the enemy of sleep because it messes with our circadian rhythms.

I use a freeware application called F.Lux on my computer, that changes the colour temperature depending on the time of day and the date (and one's location on the Earth). It basically means that the 'white' on my monitor more closely resembles a sheet of white paper in the room, since by day the room is lit by sunlight and at night by a 'warm' LED.

F.Lux can be disabled for an hour for 'colour accurate work', but it makes you think how the room's ambient light can affect your perception of colours on screen.

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Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

Dave 126
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Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

I haven't got one, and I make things.

For making useful things, a CNC router is usually more suitable than a 3D printer. Lots of things can be assembled from 2D shapes: shelves, wine racks, stencils, cutting jigs, laptop stands, boxes, chairs, whatever...

After a CNC router, another useful machine is a metal lathe. You can make your own screw threads, which 3D printers often struggle with.

Sooner or later MS is going to link this 3D printing software to their Kinect tools, though there's every chance the open-source community already have done.

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Samsung prepping smartphone with curvy three-sided display

Dave 126
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Re: Saw a great demo

>I loved the form factor of the old clamshell phones that gave you a huge (for the time) screen combined with a good keypad

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57606712-251/new-samsung-android-flip-phone-bubbles-up-with-quad-core-cpu/

http://www.sony.co.uk/product/sony-tablet-p/tab/overview

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Apple, for one, welcomes its ROBOT factory OVERLORDS

Dave 126
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Re: How much?

> I guess your our own ideological view will give us a individual view as to the iong-term ethics of the plan [ to automate and remove the labour.]

Trouble is, we need more than an individual view about this subject, since the implications have been effecting us since the industrial revolution. Many might feel (most famously, Bertrand Russell) that with all the automation, no citizen should have to work more than twenty hours a week in order to feed and house themselves and their dependants. The resulting leisure time would allow us to be more sociable, spend more time with our children, learn new skills, take longer (i.e cycle or walk if we choose) to travel work.

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LG’s G2: The phondleslab that wants you to TOUCH ITS BEHIND

Dave 126
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Re: "Now it's all possible"

>Does sapphire stop the lens from getting mucky?

No it doesn't. However, you can clean the lens by wiping it on your shirt without fear of scrathing it - something that is not recommended for conventional lenses. For those there is a handy thing called a Lens Pen, which has a retractable brush at one end and a carbon cleaning pad at the other. Only complaint is that the lids tend to fall off them.

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Dave 126
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Re: 400mAh

>That's about three hours' worth, then?

Only if all things are equal, and the G2 is younger than its rivals from Samsung, Sony and HTC.

Anandtech's benchmarks for battery life for web-browsing are 8.5 and 10.7 hours on 3G/4G and WiFi. Talktime is 23.5 hours. It would seem that battery life is the main reason that someone would consider this phone over the much cheaper Nexus 5

"The LG G2 battery life is shockingly good through our tests, and in subjective use... ...The G2 also charges very fast for its battery size... ... LG's battery size is large, and the battery life tests back up the subjectively long longevity that I've noticed. Obviously the process improvements from 28nm HPM and power saving features in the G2 like GRAM/PSR make an improvement here. It seems like with Snapdragon 800 we may be ushering in a new generation of battery performance, despite the lack of a traditional process node shrink. It just goes to show you that there can be benefits other than more performance from using a high-end phone. The G2 is the first device we've seen with 28nm HPM silicon inside, which Qualcomm will be on for while.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7251/lg-g2-and-msm8974-snapdragon-800-a-quick-look/3

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Dave 126
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Re: Rear mounted controls

My mate's G2 came with a slim 'wallet' case, has a cut-out over the screen so that time, date and notifications can be read when it is closed. Most phone cases are tailored to individual models, no? There's no belt-clip, but you can always use a blob of SikaFlex to attach your own.

He doesn't find the back buttons tricky, but often just taps the screen to wake it up and uses the notification bar to change volume.

The IR blaster is pretty handy, since five remote controls (TV, Freeview, BluRay, AV Receiver, WD Media Streamer) is just getting silly. This should be a feature, like Sony's waterproofing, that every phone should have as standard.

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First the Yanks, now us: In-flight mobe use WON'T kill us all, say Eurocrats

Dave 126
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Danger!

You still get notices on fuel station forecourts telling you to turn off your phone. At a garage near me, the woman behind the counter thinks phones can cause an explosion, despite this myth being debunked a decade ago. (hell, I occasionally get a spark of static electricity from my vehicle's door when I get out; I have yet to blow up a petrol station)

My mechanic suggested that the policy might have come about years ago, when some CB radios interfered with the fuel measuring system on the pumps.

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APPLE EATS ITSELF: iPad Mini set to wolf Air's market share

Dave 126
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Re: Interesting

Also, any tablet can be considered a 'luxury' (i.e not essential) item. There is little difference between someone who can afford to spend £200 on a tablet and someone who can spend £350 on a tablet, when you consider that there are people who can't afford a tablet at all. Any tablet buyer is trading cash for convenience.

(I won't call a conventional computer a 'luxury item' because internet access has become the de facto method of interacting with some government services, let alone companies who only make their cheapest prices available to online customers. )

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Dave 126
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Re: Interesting

>The world has moved on from overpriced status symbols

Really? Evidence please. Last I saw, makers of luxury goods are doing very well.

http://brand-e.biz/global-sales-of-personal-luxury-goods-set-to-rise-6-in-2013_30788.html

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/10/british-luxury-car-brands-record-sales

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23894955

Status symbols are things like watches that cost a few thousand, or cars that cost tens of thousands more than 'really more than good enough' models. People like that don't really care about an extra couple of hundred of quid for a device they use a dozen times a day, if the experience suits them better.

>nobody I know buys iPads anymore

Nor me, but that is because a fair few of my acquaintances already own an iPad (roughly in keeping with the circa 5% of the UK population who do*), and find it still fit for their purposes, and the new iPads haven't been on sale for that long.

* http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4496619e-db03-11e0-bbf4-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1XjOXZrJr

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Dave 126
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Re: Mini replacing the Air

The 'iPad Pro' - I'm assuming that means an Intel / OSX iPad? The original iPad rumours (or rather some users' wishlists) included being able to use the iPad for productivity applications (especially ones suited to a stylus, such as Photoshop and the like), or even just use it with a Mac as an extra display and input device. How big a market this is I don't know, existing products are very pricey. Wacom make expensive Android/ Win 8 tablets, and Modbook will turn your Macbook Pro into one, whilst Adobe are bringing drafting and sketching to the iPad with hardware/software solutions. If more developers like Adobe produce productivity software for the iOS iPad, that might negate the need for an OSX version.

http://cintiqcompanion.wacom.com/CintiqCompanion/en/

http://www.modbook.com/modbookpro

http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/creative-hardware/hands-on-adobe-projects-mighty-napoleon-drawing-hardware-for-ipad/

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Look at how many ways we ruin your life, Redmond boasts

Dave 126
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Re: Blame the cell phone

>Blame the cell phone

I actually know someone who found the advent of mobile phones gave them a little more freedom from the office... before being issued a phone, his pager meant he could be contacted damn near anywhere; when he was given a phone, he found there was no signal at the pub in the next village.

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MIT boffins show off spooky human action at a distance

Dave 126
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Re: innovation or invention

I'm guessing that those rods are as light as possible. I would have guessed that they were actuated by compressed air, but after looking through the images on the linked MIT page, I'm not so sure. The actuators take up a area roughly a third bigger than the actual rods, to which they are attached by linkages.

Another film that uses this concept is After Earth... (a much slated film, not too bad if you go in with reduced expectations, and I did like the design of the spaceship interior)

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Dave 126
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The new Superman film, Man of Steel, features computer-generated images of this technique, though far more refined and high-tech (obviously WETA Digital didn't have to make it like MIT have done, but just depict it). On the planet Krypton, output from video-conferencing and medical scanners is displayed by means of floating blobs of moving 3D pins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_Steel_(film)#Effects

EDIT: a better link here, first video, 27 seconds in:

http://www.fxguide.com/featured/man-of-steel-vfx-milestones/

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Ricoh Theta 360˚ camera: Point and click immersive imaging

Dave 126
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Exposure bracketing - fingers crossed for future firmware addition.

This would be a handy device if it supported exposure bracketing. If it had this feature, and images could be saved and exported in a lossless format, it would be ideal for creating quick and dirty 'environment maps' for illuminating providing reflections for rendered 3D objects. Currently, one can achieve the same with either an expensive specialised lens, or with a largish mirrored hemisphere and some post processing to remove the camera from the image.

Several images at different exposures can be combined to create a .hdr image, which contains more detail in the shadows and the highlights than can be expressed on a monitor or in a printed page. This allows the brightest areas to be interpreted by the rendering software as lightsources, and so shadows on a virtual object are rendered to match the real-life environment.

The open-source program HDRshop is useful (and its UI... interesting) for translating between different layout formats of .HDR or .EXR (i.e, the ones that resemble a sphere [spherical], the ones in landscape format that look twisted [lat.-long.], and the ones that look like a cross of six squares - [cube map]). For a bit of fun, I tried it with a .jpg of the calssic M.C Escher self-portrait - the etching of the artist holding an 8" mirrored sphere - translating it into a lat.-long format.

The GIMP can't handle .exr or .hdr images, though a GIMP fork called CinePaint (only on Linux at the moment) apparently can. More recent versions of Photoshop handle .hdr well, but can't do some of the transformations that HDRShop can.

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XBOX One SHOT DEAD by Redmond following delivery blunder

Dave 126
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Re: Doesn't Sound Like a Ban

Indeed. If the number of lag cheating, aim-bot using mouthy homophobic twerps on XBOX Live are anything to judge by, the MS ban-hammer has been conspicuous by its absence.

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Dave 126
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Re: Optional

Talk of Lemmings? Wha? Is Lemmings a launch title?

(actually, I can imagine a Kinect-powered version of Lemmings being good fun for an hour after returning from the pub with your mates... perform actions for 'dig', 'block', 'build' etc)

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HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Dave 126
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Re: Apple does it again ...

You say you want an i7-powered tablet that charges from a 2.1A (max) USB socket, and sign off as "Somene with common sense". Hmmm...

If you do want a tablet with OSX (and a high-end Wacom digitiser) for productivity, you can have it... but it ain't cheap:

http://www.modbook.com/modbookpro-features/

and you'll have to make do with a 13" screen and a Magsafe power cable.

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Dave 126
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Re: SSD storage ripoff

They are a company. Their purpose is to make money. They achieve this by selling goods at a mark up against their cost of manufacture.

In other news, ursine creatures observed defecating in arboreally dense locations.

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Dave 126
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Re: **Space is not grey.

Oh dear Tom, it would appear that you have some homework to do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dwarf#Setting_and_plot

And here's the latest smartwatch. Smart? It's got an IQ of 6000!

http://clickclicksnapsnap.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/holly-watch1.jpg

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Dave 126
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Re: Retina?

It's easy to take the mickey out of 'Retina', but after TV companies confused the heck out of consumers with talk of "HD Ready", "Full HD", "True HD" and various 1080 720 i p labels, I think it was a sensible marketing decision by Apple to come up with a new term for their high DPI displays.

Of course they have some competition now, and their are a handful tablets and laptops available that boast more pixels (though users who really care will also look at tests of colour accuracy and the like, depending upon their own requirements).

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Dave 126
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>**Space is not grey.

Holly: Well, the thing about a black hole - its main distinguishing feature - is it's black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour, is black. So how are you supposed to see them?

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Woz: Google Glass will be SO COOL... just like BLUETOOTH

Dave 126
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Not on the street, but maybe the workshop

In the workshop I don't care what I look like (I'll probably already be in paint spattered boiler suit), and I have a need for eye protection.

Whilst measuring, a voice memo or or voice dictation facility would be useful, and whilst cutting a display of dimensions could be handy. Capturing videos or stills hands-free would be good in that environment.

That said, videos wouldn't be useful for general viewing, since the head-mounted camera would be moving around all the time.

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Dave 126
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Re: On the spectrum of coolness

I like Woz's Nixie tube wristwatch.

http://www.cathodecorner.com/nixiewatch/

I also like a company who put negative comments about their products on their own homepage:

“If I wanted to buy a watch that guaranteed I would never get laid, I certainly wouldn't have to spend that much on it.”

—random Slashdot comment

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Dave 126
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Re: D cell batteries?

>I guess they wouldn't be green enough today, because they used to go through D cell batteries in an extraordinarily ravenous rate.

They used to, but today have very power-efficient Class D amplifiers.

However, the only ghetto-blaster like things I've seen in the wild in recent years have been amongst builders. DeWalt make ruggedised stereos that take their power from 18v power-tool batteries, and include a waterproof compartment for your MP3 player to sit in.

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Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Dave 126
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@Tom 38

JDX did acknowledge that 'bullying' was a very plausible reason for MS's actions, and then offered an alternate reason, clearly marked as merely a hypothesis.

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NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover

Dave 126
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Re: Technoluddites

>I never understand the complete opposition to the new that we invariably see here on the Reg,

It is not opposition to the new that has people upset here, but rather the threat to FM. FM radio a, works, b, is cheap, c is reliable and d, is very frugal with batteries, and e, is already owned in our homes, cars and phones.

I haven't any problem with DAB an *addition* to FM (though DAB doesn't sound great), but it just isn't suitable as a *replacement.*

If you read other's comments here, you'll see that their views are generally informed from personal experience, and are not a knee-jerk reaction to all things new.

> With more people listening, it can only get better.

I'm not sure that will help the DAB sound quality issue much, or the way it eats through batteries. Granted, more listeners might bring down the price of the sets or extend DAB signal coverage though.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes to FM switch off, but only if it switches off BBC radio.

Radio 3 is mostly classical music (with a bit of 'world music' and jazz at obscure times)

Radio 4 is all spoken word; news, documentaries, dramas, comedy. Sometimes the LW versions varies from its FM counterpart and has cricket and church services.

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Dave 126
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Re: anti-DAB agenda

We're not so much anti-DAB here (live and let live) but rather pro-FM. It is nice to have a low cost, low power way of receiving news and music.

True, the choice on FM isn't always great, but you can currently choose to buy yourself a DAB set if you wish, or go online for tens of thousands of radio stations.

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Dave 126
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Re: Things that need to happen

>During that time develop new DAB radios that use as little power as an FM radio

Good point, but how? Consider what eats your batteries:

FM Radio = Amplifier

DAB Radio = Processor(s) for error-correction coding, OFDM modulation, packet mode statistical multiplexing, frame synchronization and audio decoding THEN amplifier

The absolute best case scenario is that you can, in time, get a DAB radio receiver to use ALMOST as little juice as an FM set.

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Dave 126
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Re: Local listening

There is a medium-sized town about twelve mile from where I live, with it's wonderfully eclectic community-run FM station. Alas, its signal peters out about a mile and half from my house.

I can listen to it over the internet, though.

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BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

Dave 126
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Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

Peratech were featured in one of the Engineering trade journals just the other week... the first product using their material is a cordless drill, which goes faster the harder you squeeze the (non-moving) trigger.

The website is worth a look, not only for an overview of the technology, but for this:

"How we work

Initial Contact

Peratech is fully aware of the need for commercial non-disclosure with regards today's product development cycles. With that in mind, after making first contact with our team it is then standard practice to mutually sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement so that both parties core IP and products are protected."

...making a El Reg's attempt at getting a comment from them seem optimistic!

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GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer

Dave 126
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Re: FLOSS nutter

Okay vagabondo, is it possible you might have the cart before the horse here?

If Open Source programs for Windows are annoying to install (or result in a lacklustre experience in other ways) it can have a detrimental effect on the adoption of Linux as people's desktop OS.

If a Windows user (more likely to be lay computer user) has a good experience with things like The GIMP or Libre Office, they are more likely to try a Linux distro.

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Foxconn-rebrander Apple to rebrand hardware from other Taiwanese firms, too

Dave 126
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>Sure are a lot of butthurt iTards out today. You guys must be doing something right.

@Not That Andrew

The comments that proceeded yours were written because some of us feel that The Register should be accurate and amusing, rather than demonstrably incorrect and tedious. Is that not unreasonable? You then have the audacity to ascribe our comments to some irrational and unquestioning love of an inanimate corporate entity (and yes, I'll take that as a insult. Sod off back to the playground Andrew). WTF?

For the record, I've never owned an iDevice (well, I was once donated an iPod but I used it as a HDD donor for a rival device that was better suited to my needs). I'm pretty sure that Apple can look themselves without my help. However, this is a tech news site, it would be nice to be able to discuss technological products on their merit in a mature manner without every fucking thread turning into a name calling match. Some of us have a sense of fair play.

You, Andrew, seem to think that El Reg comment threads would be better if they were more like those found below Youtube videos, rectally-inspired abuse and all. Pillock.

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Dave 126
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Re: Couldn't agree more.

The sad thing is that The Reg can still put out good, interesting stories... take http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/05/apple_sapphire_factory_in_arizona/ for example, which I found made me think about parts of the tech industry (paying for production facilities for future predicted future demand etc) differently.

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Dave 126
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Re: This is getting a little tired

Indeed. Since the kit was never branded 'Foxconn', it can't be re-branded.

As we are aware that it is not the article's author who wrote its headline, it is a little unfair to Mr Hamill to make him appear as a new Anna Leach.

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Ogle high-end 3D models, games in a browser: Ask Amazon, Autodesk, Otoy

Dave 126
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Re: Aim Down Sights

> I'm not sure I see much need for this in regards to 3D modeling.

I think it could be damned useful for 3D modelling.

1, If a workflow requires features only found in one particular package, this can be rented for the job and charged to client -as opposed to a small shop making a large investment in the software.

2, No need to invest in your own render farm, since Mental Ray announced a similar service with AWS last year.

3, Corroborative design with engineers on different continents.

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Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

Dave 126
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Re: Sweet-looking and the price seems right - some questions

The LG G2, upon which this is based, can play 24bit 192Khz FLAC files natively, without down-sampling on the audio path, though only through LG's own app since Android doesn't support very high quality audio nativily (though LG have released APIs in the hope popular 3rd party audio apps will support its lovely hardware).

I don't know if the Nexus 5 has the same DAC.

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