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* Posts by Dave 126

4212 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Time travellers outsmart the NSA

Dave 126
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Re: Remind me,

Do. The premise is that a penal colony of political dissenters exists in the Precambrian era, since people can only be sent back in time. The narrator is an old hand who doesn't like much change.

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Dave 126
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Remind me,

Hawksbill Station (a.k.a The Anvil of Time) by Robert Silverburg, maybe?

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Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball

Dave 126
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Re: Photoshopped!

You tease!

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Dave 126
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Re: Phantasm

Looks more like the Orgasmatron from Woody Allen's The Sleeper, to me: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4sZPaKqYvos/TgRE2OM1K-I/AAAAAAAADB0/jG53z6aLf6s/s640/Sleeper_560x330_MSDSLEE_EC030_H-thumb-560xauto-28566.jpg

The above image is Safe For Work, though not all the pictures I saw whilst searching for it were.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dear Seagate

Most people have a disk of some sort in their computer, so that would make this external HDD a *second* disk. True, it would be better if it contained more disks, and itself was duplicated to other devices in different buildings and postcodes...

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Dave 126
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Re: Too tasteful...

The shaking of the hips is a way of increasing airflow over the disk array without using fans!

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Dave 126
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Photoshopped!

There is no reflection of a camera in that image. The techniques for removing the camera's reflection from spherical images are fairly mature though, cos it's a quick and dirty way of generating environment maps without using specialist lenses.

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Dave 126
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Re: Just FYI

That's the first time I've heard of Iomega being held up as a posterchild for design... and we used a lot of ZIP disks in our c2000 design campus.

LaCie's history has been tied to that of Apple's... but Apple's emphasis on design pre-dates that. It was Apple that led Hartmut Esslinger's design agency (clients including Wega and Sony Trinitron) to become Frog Design in 1982. Since then they've designed products for NeXT and SPARCstation. Even the grooves on the original Playstation were an acknowledged and deliberate homage by Sony's internal design studio to Esslinger's Mac design.

Lacie started out as two companies, one started in 1987 and the other in 1989. They tend to bring in 'star' product designers, such as Neil Poulson, Philipe Starck or Porsche Design to make an oblong box less boxy.

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Pervy TOILET CAMERA disguised as 'flash drive' sparks BOMB SCARE on Boeing 767

Dave 126
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Re: Haven't you seen Fringe ?

The old boy in the BBC documentary turns out to be a gentleman called Dr Sidney Alford. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Alford

Turns out he has a website for anyone needing to make a hole in something in a hurry. Website is probably a good way to bring yourself to some agency's attention:

http://www.explosives.net/Home.aspx

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Dave 126
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Re: Haven't you seen Fringe ?

The BBC had a good documentary about the history of explosives. At one point, a wizened, wiry old boy was demonstrating plastic explosive. He placed a small amount of plastic explosive into a conical container, held a couple of inches above the 'target' ( a two-foot thick steel billet) by three little legs. Upon detonation, it punched a coin-sized hole through the steel billet. It was a powerful demonstration.

He explained that the explosive made the copper liner form a hypersonic jet (upwards of 7 KM per second) that penetrated steel as if it were a liquid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_charge#Function

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

>I remember the laser groove reader. AFAIK it's never gone past laboratory stage.

It made it to market. Yours for around $15,000.

http://www.elpj.com/experience/video.php

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Dave 126
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Re: Legacy

Maybe future races could learn from our mistakes?

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Dave 126
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Re: Excellent

>who will probably need the same amount of time to gain the technology to be able to decipher it.

The article discusses markings that are visible to the naked eye, and to microscopes - on the same material as stores data magnetically. You could leave lots (thousands) of sapphire lenses lying around the vicinity of the data store - not only would they facilitate the building of a microscope, but they would be found and traded as gems are today. Later, curiosity and greed would make sure that future beings would explore the area more carefully, leading them to discover the data store.

However, it is desirable to require a certain level of technology to read the data- we want future archaeologists to decipher these disks. We don't want them being used as fetish objects or clubs by the cave-dwelling man apes that will wander the post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Arthur C Clarke's solution to separate the apes from the men was to place the data store on the moon.

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Dave 126
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Re: All scenarios...

How do you advertise the location of your data store? You could build some structure, obviously artificial, with the data at its heart, or you could have the old 'magnetic anomaly on the moon', a la 2001.

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How to kill trolls and influence Apple people: A patent solution

Dave 126
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Re: Change the incentives of the patent office

>Instead, ask full price to apply for a patent, and give back a small percentage if the patent is accepted.

Perhaps students, or individual innovators ("Garden Shed"), can get a substantial discount? If BigCompany has spent hundreds of man hours developing an innovation, then they won't be put off by a patent application fee of a few hundred or thousand dollars. However, to a student this amount of money is prohibitively expensive.

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BlackBerry sues American Idol host's company for 'blatant' patent infringement

Dave 126
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>so merely claiming that a vertical slip on Blue Tooth keyboard that's not built into any phone but is a separate keyboard attachment violates any Blackberry patents, is questionable, at best.

Which is why they are not claiming that.

What BB are claiming is a similarity between the shape of the keys on this new keyboard and those found on BB devices, as you can see in this image:

http://uk.blackberry.com/content/dam/bbCompany/Desktop/Global/Device/Bold-9790/9790Bold_AdAngle.jpg

At first glance, there would appear to be enough of a similarity for claim to be at least considered by a court.

BB keyboards have enjoyed a good reputation, and it is safe to assume that BB invested time and money building and evaluating many prototypes. It isn't fair if someone else comes along and just copies the fruits if their labour.

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Glassholes, snapt**ts, #blabbergasms, selfies and PRISM: The Reg's review of 2013

Dave 126
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'annoying' and 'near ubiquitous' are not mutually exclusive... often the opposite, in fact!

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

Dave 126
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>1 - run like Obama did and don't use computers, use messenger

Wasn't it the complete absence of a telephone line etc that marked out a house in Abbotsbad as being a contender for Ozzie's hideout?

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Joke no more: Comedy virty currency Dogecoin gets real in big Xmas heist

Dave 126
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Dogecoin is based on Litecoin, which (in theory) uses a Proof of Work called 'scrypt' that doesn't hand an advantage to GPUs or ASICs because of its high memory demands. However, 'scrypt' wasn't properly implemented, so your GPUs will still give you a speed boost.

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Snowden: 'I am still working for the NSA ... to improve it'

Dave 126
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"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. "How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

"The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch 22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?"

"Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?"

"They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

"What law says they don't have to?"

"Catch-22".

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British Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing receives Royal pardon

Dave 126
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Re: The man in the high castle

'The Man in the High Castle' by Philip K Dick, an 'alternative history' novel set in the late 20th century, in which the USA co-exists with a Nazi Europe and Japanese Pacific. Easier going than 'V.A.L.I.S', at least!

There are a fair few novels of this type in which the fork in history occurs around or prior to World War 2 (Swastikas sell books), including 'The Plot Against America' by Philip Roth, and 'Making History' by Stephen Fry, concerned in part with Jewishness and homosexuality respectively.

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Dave 126
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>Well I am not sure on how long they have been doing it, but as long as i've owned Samsung/android phone (about 3-4 years) they have had microUSB ports, before that I had multiple phones with MINI usb ports...

The Samsung feature-phone I had in 2008 used a propriety cable, the one I got a couple of years later used microUSB. I did witness a friend with a Nokia candybar try and charge it over miniUSB a couple a few years ago, but it wouldn't work.

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

>Uh oh, we found the Apple Fanboi.

Er, no you haven't. Your powers of reasoning appear to be blunted by mulled wine, Bullseyed.

If I was an Apple user, I wouldn't be bothered by the redundant selection of data, power and audio cables, would I?

I've never owned any Apple kit - but I've had a range of phones over the last decade from Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, plain Sony, plus various MP3 players and the odd tablet - and I have a drawer full of assorted cables and headsets to show for it.

All I knew is that any petrol station or supermarket stocked an Apple charger (and many households and workplaces), whereas finding a charger for a Samsung XYZ (as opposed to a Samsung ABC) was a pain in the neck. I only know that because I owned a Samsung ABC, followed by an HJK, an RST and finally a Sammy that used microUSB.

Since you think that phones have standardised around microUSB for ten years, your judgement is very suspect - microUSB was only announced in 2007.

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Dave 126
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>In the EU at least, they may soon be able to buy a Tesco value plug for a few quid

Don't bother. I was looking for a USB wall plug adaptor in Tescos the other day. "Rapid USB Charger" says the box. I opened it up and it was specced as 5v 600mA.

I had a mind to report them to Trading Standards, since they wanted £9 for it!

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Dave 126
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Re: Topping up the device's battery at the same time

Indeed. Nokia used to ship phones that had a miniUSB socket for data, couldn't be used for charging!

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

>Meh - micro USB does the job, charges the phone. I don't need to spend five times as much for a stylish design that does the same job to make me feel smug.

Good for you. Now, spare a thought for anyone with poor eyesight and / or arthritis who finds microUSB a hassle.

I don't use Apple kit, but they've had two connectors in over ten years. This legislation is the result of the likes of Samsung never releasing two phones with the same connector. Apple were pre-emptive in this regard, the others had to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept not only a standard power connector, but even a standard 3.5mm headset jack - and even now they mess it up by using resistors of different values.

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Cyanogen grabs $23m, will ship mod-installed N1 smartmobe on Xmas Eve

Dave 126
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>When will someone innovate a < 4" smart phone with decent specs?

The Sony Xperia Z1 f is a 4.3" variant of the Z1, and has the same innards as its bigger flagship brother. This is in contrast to 'mini' variants of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which have poorer specs than their larger-screened stable mates.

Released is Japan now, international availability to follow:

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2013/12/19/sony-xperia-z1-f-released-global-availability-next/

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Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

Dave 126
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Re: Try harder

Anonymity means that a citizen can never be sure that they are not dealing with an FBI agent. Anonymity means that entrapment can't be proven. Even if the FBI didn't bother creating a honey trap, the mere threat of one will act as a disincentive.

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Dave 126
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Re: OS of your choice

>VMS and NT4. Both well known phone operating systems NOT.

People haven't used [Statement]... [NOT!] as a credible put down since 1995.

OP wasn't serious.

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COW a-BUNG HER, dude! 'Secret Santa' Bill Gates buys lass a HEIFER

Dave 126
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Re: Cows trump Rococo in my book.

And he isn't just giving his money away and crossing his fingers... The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation take business methods to their philanthropy to get the biggest 'bang for their buck', by looking at where their money can do the most good. Their resources are such that have looked at eradicating entire diseases and other large scale projects.

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Dave 126
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It's not only his own wealth

He's also teamed up with the like of Warren Buffet to persuade other multi-billionaires to give away large chunks of their personal fortunes... I think they use an argument along the lines of "What can you possibly spend it on anyway?"

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Macbook webcams CAN spy on you - and you simply CAN'T TELL

Dave 126
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Re: Yeah but it's a Mac

Some of them work in studios, so a scalpel, some tin foil and a wee touch of SprayMount will provide a very neat (though semi-permanent) solution.

Otherwise, this stuff http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/3-multi-purpose-magnetic-tape-19mm-x-5m-n77gb makes it very easy to make a opaque sliding mechanism.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Dave 126
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Re: Clarke was right

Maybe, but this is definitely a piss-take, and it has missed its target a bit. Basically, Arielle Schlesinger isn't the stereotype of a militant bra-burner, more the stereotype of someone neck deep in academia (though with some formal feminist vocabularly).

The problem is that she hasn't worded her idea very clearly, since she has used words and phrases that only make sense to someone with experience of both programming and social studies. It seems that her use of dense jargon stems from her trying to NOT pin down her (at this stage, rightly) fuzzy concept, because her post was merely a request for ideas and input - she has a whiff of a hunch, and has chosen to calmly smell the air instead of barking up the first tree she sees. Unfortunately, her attempt to not over-define her idea has largely served to narrow the range of people who understand her request.

She has since accepted this constructive criticism on her thread, and has promised to re-write her post soon for a broader audience.

That said, I'm not sure why she chose to use words like 'feminist' as a place-holder for the sort of yet-specified programming approaches she hopes to one-day demonstrate... its probably a result of her background and how she came to approach her idea, but to the uninitiated it can read as 'feminism = illogical'. I suspect that really she is trying to think about idea that human concepts and information are 'filtered' (by the act of programming) before computers will deal with them.

Nobody thought to instruct HAL "Don't kill any humans", since they didn't think it was necessary (though Susan Calvin* might). HAL only attempted to do what was 'asked' of 'him' to the best of 'his' abilities.

*Clarke gives her a mention in 3001: Final Odyssey, but in 2001 she was only 19 years old, so would have been unlikely to have contributed to that ill-fated mission to Jupiter.

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Dave 126
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Re: I thought I'd seen it all...

>Also, Mac Pros aren't workstations, they don't have workstation level support from Apple outside the major centres in the USA. HP and Dell make real workstations with real certification and support.

That's not right. Workstation Certification is done by the software vendor; as an example, Solidworks Corp has certified specific machines from Boxx, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo for use with their software under 64 bit Win 7.

It is almost a redundant phrase to speak of an Apple OSX machine as 'certified', since there aren't that many hardware combinations for the software vendors to test. The Mac Pro has ECC RAM, and in the event of it going tits up you just swap the machine out for a new one, copy an image across to it and then carry on chasing that deadline.

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Dave 126
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Re: Flash vs Utility

Well, if you asked a Formula One engineer to design an enclosure that has to cool some components as quietly as possible, they might look at the ionic discharge cooling we heard about some years ago: http://www.tessera.com/technologies/intellectualproperty/Pages/thermalmanagement.aspx But, after finding that this technology isn't suitable for their need at this time, they might then think to use convection to aid airflow.

Hot air rises. Putting things in its way reduces its flow. Big slow fans are quieter than than fast ones.

Performance is only a measure of how well something fulfils its role. Since the Mac Pro's role is to allow someone to work on AV production, power and quietness are central to its function.

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Dave 126
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Yeah, this convection design would be good for living room-based games console, - apart from the optical drive. of course.

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Dave 126
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Most of us are more familiar with bins, lozenges, cola cans, chimneys, or Bender from Futurama.

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Dave 126
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Re: I thought I'd seen it all...

>The music industry has been one of the last Stalwarts. This is in part because they are one of the last to have certain packages available ONLY to Apple, but also because well, how can I put this delicately? Musicians aren't in general best known for their IT literacy, and so as a rule of thumb, appreciate an OS that treats them like they don't know what they're doing.

- Firewire audio kit just works with Macs, with generic PCs you have to determine if you have a Via or TI Firewire chipset (one works, one doesn't)

- Macs are usually fairly quiet in use.

- OSX's CoreAudio behaves. Window's sound subsystem is a mess, and keeps trying to wrest control back from ASIO for no good reason.

- Wireless MIDI is baked into OSX and iOS out of the box.

True, you could build some special low-latency Linux box to do the same, but should it go tits-up good luck acquiring another one five minutes before you're due on stage.

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Dave 126
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Re: Rollaway

I think that is why they made it with a circular cross-section (as opposed to a triangle, rectangle or hexagon): It makes it clear that it is to be used only in the upright position.

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Dave 126
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Re: AMD FirePro

Apple wanted to get away from CUDA. Many of the 3rd party OSX applications that use acceleration have now implemented OpenCL support. This would appear to benefit the user in the long term, since both nVidia and AMD products work with OpenCL - they are not tied to nVidia. In the short term, Apple have used this as leverage to get these FirePro cards from AMD at a large discount.

The performance per watt depends on the task- in some scenarios AMD are better, in others nVidia has the lead.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ummm.... oookkaaayy

> but with that price tag there are going to be those that cannot afford the new shiny and the applecare

If you're spending that much on the machine, it will be because you are using it to make money- so you will either get Applecare or another contingency plan, since disappointing your clients will cost you dear.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ummm.... oookkaaayy

> but practical... I don't think so.

Well, the internal configuration would suggest a Tolberone shape, but then people might lay it on its side which would prevent cooling by convection. What shape would you prefer?

>So for an editor that has a few hard disks, possibly some sort of video input device you are looking at at least half a dozen wires up on the desk.

No you're not. One Thunderbolt cable to your displays, one to your storage and PCIe cards. The advantage is that you can take your $6000 RED card with your Macbook when you're working in the field, or swap it between workstations depending on workflow.

>But all they are doing is making a bespoke form factor that makes upgrading even more impossible then before

Ugh? It was very easy before- the old Mac Pro was renowned for it. Now it is just a case of swapping a cable.

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HALF of all Bitcoin-investing Winklevoss twins predict $400bn market for the currency

Dave 126
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Re: a crypto christmas

It is the volatility that is harming Bitcoin's adoption as a convenient method of payment. Would you spend bitcoins to buy a new laptop, if the value of the bitcoins might double tomorrow? And would a vendor want to accept bitcoins as payment for some goods, if there is a chance the value drops sharply the next day?

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Xiaomi taps the HYPEGEIST with 10 pence DIY Wi-Fi router

Dave 126
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Re: the closest thing to Apple one can find beyond Cupertino. ®

Have you seen their other offerings?

Their MIUI version of Android looks to be genuinely well thought through:

http://en.miui.com/features.php

But yeah, their stated business model is to sell hardware at close to cost, and make profit by selling services on top of it - a model that is closer Amazon's than Apple's.

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Dave 126
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Re: Censorship is alive and well in Britian

How the hell can I watch The Daily Show now?

Re politics, this week's Have I Got News for You made a reference to Ed Balls throwing a hissy fit in the House of Commons, but they couldn't show it. British broadcasters are not allowed to show clips from the House of Commons for satire purposes... John Stewart on The Daily Show is.

If Channel 4 actually broadcast it, I could understand, but they don't and yet the UK residents can't watch it on-line without a proxy.

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Bluetooth Smart dev board hits US, UK for sub-$100

Dave 126
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Re: As opposed to an Arduino sheild at <£20

This kit includes CSR's xIDE development environment on a disc - it is this that requires Windows, not the actual hardware.

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Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

Dave 126
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Re: Question time

Because the circuitry has to do loads of things, things that have long names. From Wikipedia:

"the technologies used on DAB inhabit the following layers: the audio codec inhabits the presentation layer. Below that is the data link layer, in charge of packet mode statistical multiplexing and frame synchronization. Finally, the physical layer contains the error-correction coding, OFDM modulation, and dealing with the over-the-air transmission and reception of data. "

Basically, there is just much more going on than in an FM receiver.

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Dave 126
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Re: Seems a tad odd

Once you get up the first steep hill, it's (on average) a gentle downhill to London all the way. : D

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Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

Dave 126
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>DId someone turn the power down on all those FM transmitters?

Yeah, I sometimes get that feeling... the car tuner doesn't seem to pick up Radio 4 when scanning, though I can manually tune to it no problem. I now have it across a few presets, to cover its frequency where I live, and areas North and South of me.

The tuner will automatically tune to music stations no problem.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, make Radio 1 DAB

>Radio 2 you can leave alone please

You could change its jingle to something less nauseating, and axe Jeremy Vine - we don't need three hour listener polls about, for example, whether it's okay to hog the middle lane of the motorway (it isn't, don't do it, it's not up for discussion).

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