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* Posts by Dave 126

4227 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

Dave 126
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Guns won't work, so let's look at alternatives...

I'm not advocating the shooting down of drones, but as a fun exercise let's give thought to what could take a delivery drone out of the sky. Think of it as a mini SPB project.

First idea: Another drone. The offensive drone zeroes in on the target Amazon drone by noise, visual or other electromagnetic signature. Since the offensive drone doesn't have to travel as far as the Amazon drone, it can travel faster, or be made sturdier. It's 'weapons systems' could be in the form of dental-floss like filaments to disable the Amazon drone's rotors, or perhaps the offensive drones rotors could act as blades.

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Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G

Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>not enough to store half a days worth of music in flac.

If your FLACs come from losslessly compressed CDs, you're looking at around 350 MB per 74 minutes... if you're FLACs are from vinyl rips, Blu-Ray HD audio tracks or High Quality downlaods, you really should be looking at the LG G2 to get the most out of them, since it can decode 24bit 192Khz FLAC files natively.

Personally, most environments aren't conducive to listening to all the details in the music. If CD quality is enough for you, then I find a Sansa Clip (which takes microSD cards) adds little to the bulk of good headphones, and is a convenient size to wind earbuds around.

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Dave 126
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>Thankfully, the Moto G supports USB On-The-Go hosting out of the box.

Thanks for mentioning that, since the Nexus 4 didn't support it. I'm assuming that the USB OTG cable isn't included? Or is it?

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Sony PS4 SHATTERS UK console sales SPEED RECORD

Dave 126
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Re: Look at the profit...

Jai's correct, the profit on the software and the on-line gaming subscriptions will quickly dwarf that $10 difference. What is more telling is that neither console is being sold at a loss.

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iPhone slips in Europe as Windows Phone claims OVER 10% market share

Dave 126
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Re: Lolz

The article didn't mention the size of the market, thus limiting the inferences that can be drawn from market share. It is plausible that more smartphones have been sold than ever before, and it is plausible that people who have not bought a smartphone before are more likely to buy a less expensive model... but without the numbers that is just conjecture.

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Confessions of a porn site boss: How the net porn industry flopped

Dave 126
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Re: usually finished off with a full on facial!

>young men and women have been conditioned to think pubic hair is strange or even repulsive,

That's not just a modern thing... apparently the Victorian art critic John Ruskin fled from the bedroom on his wedding night, because the study of ancient Greek statues had not prepared him for female pubic hair. It is arguable that maybe a little bit of porn (with real women and pubic hair depicted) might have been a good thing for his matrimonial relations, in the spirit of 'all things in moderation'.

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Dave 126
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Re: I Googled German Goo Girls

...just try goo girling Google

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Dave 126
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Re: Ad business model

Haha, that's why I chose the word 'require' with care!

You might benefit from a compass, waterproof map and a pair of fancy boots, but you can still go for a walk with just what nature gave you (some clothing is recommended though)! : D

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Dave 126
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Re: Ad business model

There is a greater variety of videos on YouTube, so it attracts a greater variety of advertisers. Not only that, but videos often relate to activities on which money will be spent. For example, if you're watching a video for tips on tiling and grouting your bathroom, there's a fair chance you'll soon be spending money in a hardware store. By contrast, the activities associated with the viewing of adult sites require no investment in equipment.

Also, I'm not sure how well the model does work for YouTube; the increasing intrusiveness of the ads and Reg articles about Google's plans to charge for music videos suggest that it might not be bringing in enough money.

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Drone expert: Amazon's hypetastic delivery scheme a pie in the sky

Dave 126
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Using drones to deliver small items? This is a very bad idea - it will really really mess with the game mechanics of Atari's 'Paperboy'.

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I want to play with VMs

Dave 126
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Re: Depends

It might be worth a quick Google search of your choice of Host, Hypervisor and Guest combination before you start, just in case it lets you side-step any known issues that can waste half an hour.

Re VMWare Player - if you choose to try a Windows host and VMWare Player for a virtual Ubuntu installation, don't use the 'Easy' option when VMWare Player presents it to you ('Normal' works fine). It may have been fixed by now, but the VMWare Player Tools caused issues at the time so that I couldn't reach the guest desktop.

The 'Tools' were just to allow things like 'copy and paste' and 'drag and drop' to work between Host OS application windows and Guest OS application windows.

Have fun!

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DON'T PANIC: No FM Death Date next month, minister confirms

Dave 126
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Re: BTW am I right in thinking UK DAB <> Europe DAB?

Some UK DAB sets can be upgraded to DAB+, but here is little point unless your taking the radio abroad. That upgrade isn't free, though, because royalties have to be paid on the AAC codec DAB+ uses.

Apparently there is a way of using an Australian proxy server to upgrade Pure DAB sets without paying a fee, but I haven't done it myself.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Dave 126
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I stand corrected:

"The Principal of Firepower International made claims in relation to a “fuel pill” that could improve the fuel economy of motor vehicles by a large percentage. In a similar way to Rossi, no proper scientific tests were done – just lots of claims of tests and anecdotal evidence of how good the pills were. The Firepower claim was given great credibility by the Head of Defence in Australia investing in the company, with many other people – including politicians – being involved. The Principal of Firepower always promised that a definitive scientific test would be done, but this was delayed and delayed until the company eventually collapsed with something like $100 million being lost by mum-and-dad investors in Australia."

- Dick Smith

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/02/24/dick-smith-rossi-e-cat-too-fantastic-to-be-true/

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Dave 126
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Good point about dafter sites possibly copying and pasting. Relax though, the $1.5m price tag might mean only technologically illiterate greedy millionaires are defrauded. With luck, pension funds will seek the source article and demand proof.

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Dave 126
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I make $500 a week working from home, I didn't believe how easy it was. For my secret way of making loads of money, you can buy my easy to read guide by sending money to dave126@idiots.cam

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Dave 126
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Relax. The Reg didn't want to patronise its readers by pointing out the bleedingly obvious. The lines were fairly easy to read between.

Anyway, any article that mentions Disk Smith (who in addition to being a founder of the Australian Skeptics is also an entrepreneur, pilot, philanthropist and practical joker - he was on a double-decker bus that jumped sixteen motorcycles and bought a fake iceberg into Sydney Harbour) and promotes his work is a good thing. He's happy to call these charlatans on their bluff. The trouble is, they know it.

I would recommend this chummy interview between Dick Smith and the man who gave us the One Eyed trouser Snake song, fellow Skeptic Philip Adams, in which he recounts his solo round the world helicopter flight, a massive Electronic Dick and beetroot. You couldn't make it up. (MP3)

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/dick-smith/4415572

(The misspelling of Skeptic is a nod to a previous group)

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Mass Effect: Ten lightweight laptops that won’t bust your back

Dave 126
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Re: No nVidia = no CUDA = No deal

Cheers for the heads-up, Silent_count!

I haven't used RAW much in the past, but my new camera is speedier at saving files than my last one, so I really should get into the habit.

The quick n dirty mini-review of LightZone is very positive:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/5637768529/a-quick-review-of-the-lightzone-photo-editor

All the focus seems to be on making laptops slimmer and more power efficient - no bad thing. Gaming laptops often have quite modest display resolutions, since it lowers the demand on their GPUs. I've been impressed with the more recent Intel graphics, but fooling my CAD software into thinking my GeForce is a Quadro results in more useful display graphics for quick animation output.

Personally, I'm not after 'Retina'-level resolution, but just a laptop with a 1920 x 1200 16:10 screen.

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Dave 126
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Help!

Does anyone know of a 1920 x 1200 Windows laptop, 15" - 17", with (mid range) dedicated graphics?

Sorry for being a tad off topic.

Thanks.

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Dave 126
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Re: No nVidia = no CUDA = No deal

The Toshiba KiraBook and Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 also have very high res screens, but don't offer a dedicated graphics card. The Intel graphics aren't as shabby as they used to be, but obviously don't do CUDA.

The 15" Macbook Pro Retina with the pricey component package (faster CPU, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD and nVidia GT 750m) might fulfil your needs but it costs over £2,000. Maybe a solution based on a cheaper Macbook and an nVidia card housed in a Thunderbolt chassis might be suitable for you.

Also, does your software scale properly on a high res display? Applications one might expect to behave (such as Photoshop) don't.

Are there any other nVidia high res laptops out there?

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PS4 with Black Friday underway: TOUGH, you CAN'T HAVE ONE!

Dave 126
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CYA

It's better to 'under promise'. No one is going to get bent out of shape if their console does arrive before Christmas if they expected it in the first week of January. The converse is not true.

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Dave 126
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Re: Whether it's an Xbox one or PS4

Anecdotally, that seems to be the attitude amongst my PS3 and XBOX 360 owning friends- wait until the new consoles get a bit cheaper, wait until the list of available games get bigger and reviews are published...

And besides, they're still working their way through GTA5 or BF4 on their existing kit.

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Dave 126
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Re: If you still manage to get one

It'd be easier to just return it under The Sales of Goods Act, or the Distance Selling Regulations.

It's better to save the soldering iron for something that is cheaper and simpler.

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Ex-Nokia team unveil Jolla smartphone with added Sailfish OS

Dave 126
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Re: No NSA please

>They've 'Here' mapping from Nokia on them.

That should have been in the article! Without it, I just looked at the specs and looked at the price (not far off the well-thought of LG G2, and more than a Nexus 5) and thought - "what have I missed here?"

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Dave 126
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Re: Blame Intel & MS

There have been a few 'Retina'-like Windows laptops released in the last year (Toshiba Kirabook, Lenovo Yogo Pro 2, for two) and reviews suggest that the issue is legacy desktop applications often don't don't scale well. Photoshop, for example, presents you with tiny icons that are hard to see. However, the TIFKAM applications do scale properly.

So, for very high res laptop screens to work requires some effort from 3rd party software developers.

"Whereas navigating the Modern Live Tile interface was easy on the Kirabook, it was nearly impossible to touch anything, much less use the cursor, in desktop mode. The menu options in Photoshop Elements were microscopic. We don't consider our eyesight to be poor, but even we had to hold the notebook close to our face. Fortunately, a Toshiba Display Utility lets you set the size of on-screen icons and text in Windows, but it doesn't apply to the apps themselves."

"World of Warcraft" supports the Kirabook's high-res display, but, like on Photoshop, menu text is tiny.

- http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/toshiba-kirabook.aspx

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Dave 126
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Re: What about keeping XP?

Keeping XP secure...

Here's an idea, though I haven't thought it out fully:

Can the XP machine be set up so that a breach of security isn't the end of the world? Regular image back-ups of the system, get Mr 12 into backing up documents that are important to him, that sort of thing... i.e use the risk of a security breach to instil some good habits in Mr 12.

However, I don't know how Mr 12 will be able to keep his on-line credentials safe against a keylogger or password sniffer... is there a secure browser available that doesn't store passwords in plaintext?

Anyway, it's just a thought, and I'd welcome thoughts on whether its stupid or not.

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GCHQ was called in to crack password in Watkins child abuse case

Dave 126
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Re: Fair play...

Yeah, because that's an attitude that will really make people who feel such urges seek professional help before they act on them.

Look: None of us want any children to come to harm, so maybe we'll look calmly at the best ways of preventing it. Should that mean repressing our desire for revenge, then so be it.

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Just who is Apple's most frustrated fanboi? Surprise – it's GOOGLE

Dave 126
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Re: They should be forced to use

>But realistically, there is only 1 suitable solution - Viva la Tux :D

So Google must be currently using an unsuitable solution. Ah, that would explain why they are struggling to scrape a living, the poor dears.

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Dave 126
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> It would be nice if we could assemble a tool set without having to remember the pop culture and in-jokes of a bunch of 30 something nerds.

I agree with you in the general case, but not in this specific case.

Cauliflower Vest et al are internal tools, likely used by the people who developed them. As such, they might have been named after an event that the team remembers -"Hey, remember that time we were writing that boring tool and Bob spilt cauliflower soup down his shirt?". Names like "Tool 654" or "OSXFV2RKES" are instantly forgettable by comparison. Should they open-source CanHazImage, they can rename it then, just as consumer software often has an internal codename before release.

Software for the public does benefit from a more intuitive names. Media Player, Notepad, Paint etc give a clue to their function. The GIMP? Not so much, and if Penguins really wanted to broaden the adoption of desktop Linux it is something they might want to address.

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Dave 126
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Re: What did you expect?

>Windows users get all they deserve

WTF? So, users of software that is only available on Windows get all they deserve? Someone who makes components and has to use the CAD package their customer requires deserve all they deserve? People with a small business who use the accountancy software favoured by the revenue service get all they deserve?

Grow up.

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Moto G: Google's KitKat bruiser could knock out, bury Landfill Android

Dave 126
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If you fork Android, you can't then use the Google Play Store, Google apps such as the Gmail client or Maps, or any of the libraries in the closed-source Google Play Services. Amazon had the means to make their own Android App store when they released their colour Kindle, and Samsung have been shipping devices with their own apps duplicating the functionality of Google's for a while now.

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Adorable, much-loved SEAHORSES are VICIOUS SLURPING KILLERS

Dave 126
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Re: Isn't nature amazing?

Nature. And lasers.

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Twitter mobs attack wrong celebrity Ian Watkins after child abuse case

Dave 126
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Re: ah come on...

>"Brings to mind a story..."

>>Never happened.

Or, it might mean 'I can't be arsed to find an on-line reference to said story'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/901723.stm

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Dave 126
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Re: ah come on...

The good folk of Springfield form a pitchfork-wielding mob about once per series of the Simpsons... it's almost as if the writers were trying to make a point or something.

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How STEVE JOBS saved Apple's bacon with an outstretched ARM

Dave 126
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Re: Even most of the style is copied from Braun & Dieter Rams.

>Even most of the style is copied from Braun & Dieter Rams.

Dieter Rams doesn't call himself a designer but (when roughly translated into English) a 'form engineer'. Jony Ive openly acknowledges the influence, but he's not copying Rams' style but his methodology, an approach to design. Ram's 'Ten Principles of Good Design' are here:

http://www.sfmoma.org/about/press/press_exhibitions/releases/880

People can easily copy style (remember the plague of cheap translucent blue products - staplers, USB hubs etc- that followed in the wake of the orginal iMac?), but following principles is harder, it requires an understanding of your particular problem and the materials available to you to solve it.

Of course you'd be a fool to be blind to when a problem has been solved before... you want to make a music playback device that fits in a pocket? The act of of sliding the device in and out of your pocket is a large part of its 'use'. Okay, let's look at cigarette cases and Sony Walkmans- what aspects can you usefully implement in your design?

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Dave 126
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Re: Beep!

A PC is a Personal Computer, but at the time it was common to refer to a IBM compatible PC as a 'PC' and to call an Amiga an Amiga, an Atari and Atari etc.

Even the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" advert of a few years ago leaves out the [Windows].

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Dave 126
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@sorry, what?

I was only talking about a certain place and time, around 1990, and the schools I knew. No one I knew had an Archimedes at home (they mostly had Amigas, Atari STs or a console), but my primary school had one - and it appeared to an eleven year old boy more advanced (prettier graphics! Nice sounds!) than the Olivetti 8086 we had at home (no sound card or game port, no graphical desktop environment).

A year later, and my next school had a suite of Archimedes... we were even allowed to play David Braben's 'Lander' (aka Virus, Zarch) on the last day of term. The graphics were Wow! at the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=653Ger80ros

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Dave 126
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Re: The Archimedes was popular in schools?

My primary school had one Archimedes, and my junior school had a suite of them. I can't comment on how widespread they were, other than noting they seemed fairly well supported on the software front.

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Dave 126
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Re: so Arm says that Apple did innovate then?

>and stunned most of ARM's employees

I read that as meaning only a group within ARM were working on the 64bit design, or that others within ARM were working on it but didn't realise that it was ready for production at the time.

But yeah, I find the Evil Company / Saintly Company terms boring too. I prefer to look at the products a company can bring out if it is in full control of its hardware and OS, and at the products that can result when anyone can make a component and drivers. These two approaches have different strengths; as an example, the former can produce a tighter integration and fewer variables to troubleshoot, and the latter can drive down prices by having, say, AMD compete against nVidia. Apple can bring multi-touch gestures to OSX because they know their hardware touchpad is suitable, whereas I use a lovely Logitech mouse.

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Dave 126
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Re: Another example of how..

Okay, I suspect the true narrative is a tad more nuanced than your Anglophile Jobs Evil Gates version.

However I do remember a time when my family's DOS PC seemed very boring compared to my friends' Amigas and Ataris, or the Archimedes and Apples at school.

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NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

Dave 126
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The old adage...

"Dance as if nobody is watching.

Make love Surf porn as if everybody is"

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GTA San Andreas: Now smack that disobedient hooker on your PHONE

Dave 126
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Re: @Dave

@AC

I agree.

That is why, unlike ShelLuser, I don't use Adblock on The Reg because their adverts aren't usually intrusive, and I consider that fair play. The Reg deserves its revenue.

Therefore a noisy ad on The Reg seemed out of place... it's a balancing act; if too many of their ads are a nuisance then more readers might activate Adblock.

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Dave 126
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WTF El Reg?

That was a very noisy Microsoft Dynamics advert that accompanied this article. The Reg doesn't normally feature noisy adverts (if you did, I'd mute before visiting), so how did that one slip through?

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I'm Feeling LUCKY OR LAZY™? Chrome gets hands-free voice search

Dave 126
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Re: For this to work...

I would imagine that the plug-in is listening continuously, and is able to recognise 'OK Google' itself locally. After that it sends your voice sample to Google's servers.

Sending everything your microphone picks up to Google's servers (when 99.9% of the time it is useless) isn't a very good use of their resources.

Android phones can do speech-to-text locally if required, it's just that the results aren't accurate as when it's done server side.

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Dave 126
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I don't want to email whilst driving, but occasionally I do have ideas ( or remember some item I need to get from town) when behind the wheel, and a Dictaphone of sorts would be nice. If it isn't a standalone button on the dashboard, then a voice activated system would be fine - I wouldn't want to be fumbling with my phone.

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You DON'T need a new MacBook! Reg man fiddles with Fusion, pimps out vintage Pro

Dave 126
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Re: HD + SSD management

>The idea of merging my hard drive and SSD into one logical volume appeals to me but I'm not going to do it until it's officially supported by Apple.

It's part of OSX's CoreStorage inherited from when they were flirting with ZFS, and it's used in many a new Mac. If it goes tits-up, you have your Time Machine hourly back ups- right?

I just don't think it's Apples' style to officially sanction this on machines they have already sold you.

That said, the law of diminishing returns suggests that it won't speed up your system appreciably over your current set-up, since your OS and applications are already on the faster drive; a large part of Fusion Drive's intended appeal (when implemented on brand new machines) is to not even bother the user with the fact that there are two disks in the first place.

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Dave 126
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>What x86 tablet has a Haswell i5 with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD? The only one I can think of is the Surface Pro 2, which costs $999, i.e., exactly the same as an 11.6" MacBook Air.

I was going to say THIS! but it has an i7 and a minimum of a 256 GB SSD. Ho Hum.

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

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Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

Dave 126
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Re: WTF?

So, to answer the question: WTF is Panty Waist?

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Dave 126
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Re: Does it use a local dictionary?

I watched a French film with English subtitles in the cinema, 'A Town Called Panic'. At one point, a character said 'Merde' and the subtitles said 'Oh Dear', which we all found hilarious at the time.

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Dave 126
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>So no swearing, but killing is OK.

"They train young men to rain fire down upon people, but they will not allow them to write 'Fuck' on the side of their airplanes because it is obscene"

- Cl. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

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BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

Dave 126
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Re: Like, ahem, cooking pr0n and talent shows.

Exactly: when first launched, BBC3 was billed as comedy for a general audience. However, it has evolved to become their 'yoof' channel, complete with 'yoof' orientated comedies and documentaries about STDs.

That's what Channel 4 used to be for, back in those happy days before Big Brother!

The idea of a general audience has died - though to be fair, much of that is beyond the BBC's control (multiple channels via satellite, cable or Freeview , and more screens in each household to watch things on, such as computers and tablets).

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