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* Posts by Dave 126

4218 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Sony Xperia Z Ultra: The quad-core 2.2GHz MEGA SCREEN PHONDLESLAB

Dave 126
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Re: But

I've been wary of Sony in the past (proprietary formats, silliness with CDs, sometimes pricey), but always liked them for trying crazy stuff from time to time (Remind yourself here of why Samsung aren't the new Sony: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/29/4783132/the-amazing-products-of-weird-sony )

Also, my current phone, a Sony 2012 model) has been upgraded from Gingerbread to ICS and then to Jellybean, so I feel fairly well looked after.

Companies can change over time, though if you feel bitten then I can't blame you for feeling shy.

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Dave 126
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Re: Whip it out in a bar and all your friends are certain to go: “Oooh...”

> Heh, maybe someone will combine a bluetooth headset & stylus

Agreed.

I won't dig through my past posts, but I've written down that idea before (I think when Samsung first announced the Galaxy Note)... I'm no visionary, it's just a sensible idea, especially if the pen/headset also has media playback controls. Infact, Sony could draw upon the style of their early 'Network Walkmans' (they didn't do MP3, FFS!) players which were cylindrical with jog controls.

It could live in a breast pocket, and a little RGB LED pixel would alert the user to notifications etc.

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Apple hires streaming vid bloke: Nurse, the corpse of Apple monster telly is twitching again

Dave 126
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Re: TV is Already Bad Enough, Even Apple Cannot Make It Worse

>TV is bad enough already - we need someone like Apple to revolutionise it.

I thought that devices like Tivo, and services like Netflix, had already made good progress in shaking up the industry... the latter even commissioning original shows (okay, a remake of a British show, but it's good fun to watch a Machiavellian Kevin Spacey).

The following is an interesting look at the commissioning of 'quality' television shows, and the difference between the UK and USA. Armando Iannucci: BAFTA Television Lecture 2012:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmViA8zRhLI

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Screen grab by Google, Amazon could delay Retina iPad mini – report

Dave 126
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>Tabs don't need all that power with intelligently written code. They are not laptops, nor should they be designed to run as such.

...and 640 k ought to be enough for anybody etc.

Why the hell shouldn't a tablet act as a portable Photoshop device (with the RAM requirements that can entail), especially since the damned things usually have more pixels than laptops?

Look at what Wacom have just done:

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

It's a high quality Wacom digitiser (as opposed to the cheaper Wacom units featured of other vendor's tablets) on top of a 13" Android powered tablet that becomes a dumb monitor/digitiser when plugged into a Mac or PC.

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Bungie ’bois offered ‘early’ access to post-Halo FPS Destiny

Dave 126
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Re: Methinks thou dost credit Bungie too much?

>Hmm, I'd put a few other games ahead in that category,

As described like that, then yes. However, 'Destiny's blend of a massively multi-player FPS in a persistent shared world with no game lobbies set against a ten year story arc is not one I have seen before... if I had, I would be playing it now!

Unlike the people who have pre-ordered, I'll have the option of reading reviews and listening to friends after its release to see if it is as good as it sounds. Meanwhile, I might just have to re-watch 'Cowboy Bebop' to get a fix of hijinks set across the solar system!

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Dave 126
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Re: Wrong platform for a MMOG

Bungie haven't yet ruled out a PC release. If you want to play the game so badly (and give up hundreds of hours in which money could be earnt) then why not just buy a console... a current generation model if necessary, since I'd imagine they will drop in price when their successors are released. Or, put your money into supporting David Braben's remake of 'Elite', or one of the other "decent FPS and MMOGs" of which you speak.

Besides, this game will be going on for ten years, so who knows what a 'PC' or a 'Console' will mean over that time.

Regarding the revenue stream for running a MMOG, clues can be found in the Bungie-Activision contract:

>Destiny will consist of a series of four MMO-style "sci-fantasy action shooter" titles, released every other year beginning in Fall 2013

>Expansion pack-style downloadable content (DLC), codenamed "Comet," will be released every other year beginning in 2014

>Destiny will feature a number of DLCs, microtransactions, and value-added paid services

http://destiny.wikia.com/wiki/Bungie-Activision_Contract

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Dave 126
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Re: stupid

>Selling Beta access like this is NOT a good idea, yet another Marpets brain fit.

>A beta is for TESTING if you do this you aren't testing you are just selling early access. Having worked in the industry I know that this can ruin a game before it is ready.

Betas are for testing, but part of that testing will require thousands of people, though probably not as many as will want to join in. So, how to select which members of the public to invite to the Beta? Simple, you give access to those who show the most enthusiasm, faith, and yes, financial commitment to your upcoming product. It seems as fair a way as any other I can think of.

The last few Halo games have had elements of their on-line game-play tweaked and tuned (or buggered about with, depending on your view) weeks and months after their release.

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'Stupid old white people' revenge porn ban won't work, insists selfie-peddler

Dave 126
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I don't know how copyright law works in the US, but don't the rights to photograph belong to the photographer (so in the case of 'selfies', to the subject of the photograph)?

Just asking.

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Dell ‘xpands XPS line with 'WORLD-FIRST' MEGA-RESOLUTION laptops

Dave 126
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Re: Finally!

>Amazing resolution, but it is just a waste, no one can discern the difference anyway.

Whilst I can't discern any jaggedness to onscreen text when my eyes are further than 12" away from my screen (17", 1920 x1200 = 133 PPI), this test image demonstrates why some people will find a high PPI screen useful:

http://www.bealecorner.org/red/test-patterns/star-chart-bars144-600dpi.png

From a distance of around 30" from the same monitor I can make out jaggedness in lines in a CAD draughting application - which unlike much onscreen text doesn't employ anti-aliasing.

There have been a few high resolution laptops released in the last year (including a very high res Lenovo Yoga), but all the reviews suggest that many Windows desktop applications fail to scale properly (including Adobe Photoshop).

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Apple wins patent for entrance to retail store

Dave 126
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Re: Erm..

>" since the USPTO feels that Apple is entitled to a patent on the techniques used to fabricate it."

For crying out loud. Look: it's not a difficult concept. You can not patent the cardboard box, but should you develop a new way of manufacturing a cardboard box then it is fair that you are able to patent the process.

I'm not sure why the above commentards think they are experts on architectural construction techniques all of a sudden.

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Samsung: Sod off Apple, we've made gold mobes for way longer than you

Dave 126
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I had a few of the later Samsung slider phones (better than their Nokia equivalents at the time) from around 2006, then a couple of their touchscreen efforts (well featured, but some annoying design decisions)... I don't think they ever twice used the same connector for power, data transfer and audio headsets (!). The first one, a very thin slider phone, wasn't bad at all though.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not unlike real gold

Theoretically a pan with a solid diamond base would the best way to fry an egg. Apparently it is the best known conductor of heat... though of course impractical for most (all?) conducting applications.

[Edit: John Sager beat me to it, and deserves double points for giving figures]

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Dave 126
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Re: Yawn

>Can I table a motion that comments like that should, from now on, be called "jakeisms"?

I tabled that motion back in 1987.

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That's a money spinner: iPod wheel patent bout bags bod £2m from Apple

Dave 126
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Re: Boy was that cheap

It is hard to comment without more details about the patent - which appear to be behind a paywall. For all we know, the patent might be relatively minor, and it would have been fairly easy to build a non-moving 'click-wheel' without infringing upon it. There again, it might cover a mechanism that is core to the workings of a click wheel.

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Office 365 goes to work on an Android

Dave 126
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Re: Apples and oranges

"Bluetooth or USB. Suddenly a keyboard and mouse appear. That wasn't hard. Now, software, support it. Oh, it won't? Chicken and egg."

Exactly the same can be said for the adoption of 'traditional' gamepads for Android tablets when playing appropriate games (or even for controlling media playback if the tablet is connected to a big TV).

I heard a BBC producer (of children's content) on the radio the other day... her information was that 60% percent of households with children in the UK own a tablet.

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Dave 126
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Re: Related topic...

Thank you for responding Mr Pott! If ten keyboards (to fit in with the usual Reg format) is too costly, then perhaps just a couple of choice ones and a cheap and cheerful (?) unbranded model for comparison.

Was there ones a cunning fold-up yet full-size keyboard available for Palm devices, or did I just imagine it?

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Dave 126
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Re: Office suites on Android (or iOS)?

>The LAST thing I want to do is word processing or spreadsheets on my Android phone or tablet.

If I'm just entering text (with a view to editing and formatting it later when I'm back at a 'proper' computer), then the size of any screen or choice of OS isn't that important to me... I just want a compact device + keyboard so that I can type. This need could probably be fulfilled with a keyboard, a keylogger, an Altoids tin and a battery...

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Dave 126
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Related topic...

Would The Register consider a 'Top Ten Bluetooth keyboards' type article? Ta!

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USB 3.1 demo shows new spec well on its way towards 1.2GB/sec goal

Dave 126
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Re: Thundercats

>Remember how long they clung to the admittedly reasonable FireWire standard even though it was clear the whole world was walking the other way towards USB?

And do you remember how long FireWire was around before before the mass adoption of USB 2.0? And FireWire stuck around for a long time afterwards, because people had invested money in scanners, digital camcorders and high quality sound cards.

Anyway, USB 3.1 isn't a rival to ThunderBolt - it isn't much use for expanding the capabilities of a laptop, tablet, or indeed a small desktop (new Mac Pro) - OCuLink is.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/13/pci_sig_discusses_m_pcie_oculink_and_fourth_gen_pcie/

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E-book him! Entire Judge Dredd back catalogue gets iDevice treatment

Dave 126
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Re: that's excellent, but...

I saw it in the cinema and bought the DVD (without waiting for it to drop to a fiver in a supermarket).... I don't know what else I can do. Ah well.

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WHY do phone cams turn me into a clumsy twat with dexterity of an elephant?

Dave 126
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Black Helicopters

Re: Well, if you're taking photos at a concert...

>For someone my height, holding up a phone at arm's length is the only way I will ever get to see the band.

There are also the following...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periscope

http://www.screwfix.com/c/storage-ladders/step-ladders/cat831476

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_stick

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_shoe

http://www.ultimateshoulderrides.com/

... but since this is a tech site, it can only really be:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadcopter

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Dave 126
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Re: Completely Arse-faced

Er okay... True, most digital cameras lack a 'chamber' [camera], much less a dark one (many having an electronic 'shutter') so in those terms then yes, you have made a statement of fact.

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Dave 126
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Re: Maybe you could get a phone with a decent camera?

I guess one might use the camera on a tablet if they can't find their phone (or dedicated camera), but taking pictures isn't the only application for them... Barcode and QR reading apps, for example, make use of tablet cameras, as does the OCR part of Google Translate.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's in da nose, stoopid!

Some useful tips there rh587, thanks!

Alas, if the subject itself is moving then you'll probably need a faster shutter speed anyway (requiring a compromise on ISO (noise) or aperture). That said, it can be fun to 'track' a moving subject with camera at a lower shutter speed, so the background shows motion blur; an technique that perhaps reading 'Ways of the Rifle' can help me improve on.

For those with nothing to do this weekend, Instructables.com has a guide to making a gyroscopic camera stabilisation rig from two desktop hard-disks...

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Dave 126
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Re: captured from several seconds before the shutter button is pressed.

You're right - it is constantly recording, hence the battery drain.

The same principle has appeared in some music systems over the years: audio-in is constantly buffered, so recording can begin several seconds before your press the 'Record' button... handy for recording songs from the radio!

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Dave 126
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Possible solution...

might be for cameras to allow 'bracketing' of more parameters. A lot of dedicated digital cameras allow this for exposure, but it would be handy if it could be extended to ISO and focus as well, as examples. Obviously this would result in several images being stored for every press of the shutter button, but it would allow the photographer to select the best image at their leisure after the fact, instead of fumbling with the controls at the time.

The downside would be that you might not capture a specific moment (but then phone cameras are useless at that anyway), and also your storage would be used up more quickly (but then that isn't so much of a worry these days).

There are other tricks that are used in some digital cameras, such as the pre-buffering in some Nikons - photos are captured from several seconds before the shutter button is pressed. One assumes that this comes at the cost of draining the battery more quickly.

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First look: Apple iPhone 5S and 5C

Dave 126
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Re: Remember that...

>Guess they could add a second camera on the back for 3D - but do many people actually care about that?

Not enough people care to build it into the phone. Those people who want that feature can add some extra hardware to the phone - there are plans for a Kinect-style 3D scanner for Apple and Android devices. Similarly, not everyone cares about being able to record high quality audio (though journalists and musicians might), but there are clip-on condenser-microphones available for those who want them.

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THE TRUTH about beaver arse milk in your cakes: There's nothing vanilla about vanilla

Dave 126
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Re: Luwak coffee - a question

Hehe, 'Poo' would be a suitable (if not commercially viable) name for a Twitter-like 'social media' service. My reasoning is that many animals use pee or poo to get messages out to their peers they are not currently in the presence of. If of you want to take this idea and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company, I only ask a 1% cut... I'll even throw in some tag-lines to get you started:

"Why say it when you can spray it?"

"Putting the Pee into people"

"Poople"

Of course, humans would want to expand the vocabulary of the medium beyond the three messages favoured by many mammals, ie "This is MINE!", "I'm feeling HORNY!" and "I have an interesting bowel condition". Or there again, that's enough to cover much of the human condition.

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Google fluffs DEATH DEFEATING startup Calico

Dave 126
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>humans are not ready for immortality.

Though not dealing with the impact of an entire species/culture becoming immortal (and yeah, we'd quickly run out of planet, so would have to give thought as to arranging matter and energy in our solar system...) this modest film is rather good:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756683/ 'The Man from Earth'.

It is delivered in the manner of a drawing room drama amongst college professors, and relies on dialogue rather special effects.

If you want some explosions, robots, lasers and Jodie Foster in a film that touches on the divide between the long-lived disease-free ultra-rich and the wretched masses, then 'Elysium' in is cinemas now.

Previous sci-fi form would be Asimov's 'The Caves of Steel', and its sequel 'The Naked Sun'.

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Open source Android fork Cyanogen becomes $7m company

Dave 126
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Re: Also...

I won't take your bet, because it is too difficult to referee:

"CyanogenMod, the company’s free open-source replacement firmware, has more than 8 million users, CEO Kirt McMaster says. But that counts only users who have elected to share data with Cyanogen, he says, estimating that the true number is two to three times that amount. "

-http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4742828/cyanogen-raises-7-million-to-build-the-best-version-of-android

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

Dave 126
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Re: Kids are faster

I dunno, I've seen six year olds complete Sonic the Hedgehog in a time I could never hope to beat (I was twelve at the time) /anecdotal

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Dave 126
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Without being an expert, this new research attempts to get some quantitative evidence, whereas that documentary you saw was based on the valid observation "don't them buggers move quick".

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Dog bites man: Apple's Macs trounce all Windows PCs in customer love

Dave 126
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Re: Hmmm...

>who wants to admit that they bought a turd

There are plenty of other empirical surveys that suggest that Apple Mac hardware is amongst the most reliable (on a par with a couple of Windows PC manufacturers).

"Show me [your] body [of evidence]."

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It's Grand Theft Auto 5 day: Any of you kids remember GTA the First?

Dave 126
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Re: Early LAN gaming

In the mid nineties, network cards in PCs weren't too common - and certainly not built into the motherboard as they are today. A null modem cable was a cheaper way of playing two-player Doom.

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Dave 126
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Re: Parameters

Yep! As recommended by PC Zone, I bought Nascar Racing, set my car to 'indestructible' and went the wrong way round the track. Apparently, the true purpose of the game was to sit there for fifty laps without making a mistake, but I couldn't see the fun in that...

A 'null modem cable' only made things more fun between mates.

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Dave 126
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> but I'd seen them all years before in Spectrum games,

Are you thinking of 'Super Stuntman' by Codemasters?

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Microsoft mocks Apple and new iPhones in vids it quickly pulls

Dave 126
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Re: Stones and glass buildings

Stones? Last time MS threw the Stones at a product launch was using "Start Me Up" for Windows 95...

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Dave 126
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Re: It wasn't a light hearted poke

MS should leave it to the professionals:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/apple-unveils-panicked-ideafree-man-at-launch-even,33814/

CUPERTINO, CA—At a highly anticipated press event at its Silicon Valley headquarters Tuesday afternoon, tech giant Apple officially unveiled to the public a panicked and completely idea-free man...

(Though it's not as good as The Onion's 'Macbook Wheel' with 'predictive sentence technology'!)

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Dave 126
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Happy

Re: Good god..

>Good god... As much as an M$ fan that I am, I hope to god they never decide to pen a script for a movie..

Don't worry, the (overly) MS-controlled Halo movie project was cancelled, and the attached director and producer went on to do District 9 and Elysium (Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson), and the writer Alex Garland, to whom MS paid a load of money for a Halo script, did Dredd 3D instead.

A pretty good outcome, methinks!

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From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

Dave 126
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>"featuring the Burt Rutan-designed, Scaled Composites-built SpaceShipTwo and its launch counterpart, "

Buzz Aldrin's above novel features a Space Tourism entrepreneur who "even gets Burt Rutan out of retirement" to design a launch system. As pictured in the novel's line-art illustrations, it resembles the Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo.

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Dave 126
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I've just halfway through reading a Sci-Fi novel, Encounter with Tiber, by some blokes called Buzz Aldrin* and John Barnes**. Published in 1996, it starts off with a problem with the Space Shuttle, and lays out how private industry develops better launch vehicles through the beginning of the 21st century- even linking it to some Silicon Valley types.

It's a fair read, though every so often a paragraph or character is used to explain the Doppler effect or a Lagrange point. It would probably appeal to fans of Arthur C Clarke.

*Yes, the astronaut

**No, not the footballer

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Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

Dave 126
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Re: Only one problem

As I understand it, the OTHER high end waterproof handset, the Galaxy S4 Active, doesn't have a rubber plug in the 3.5mm headphone port as the Sony does. Whilst both handsets have a plug over the microUSB port, the Sony has two external pins for charging, in the hope you pay them for an optional charging cradle (in which the phone can be configured to do the old Blackberry trick of emulating an always-on-yet-dimmed alarm clock).

Whilst some people might bemoan the lack of startling innovation in mobile phones, this maturity at least forces designers to compete by refining existing features (make it waterproof, make it easier to use etc), rather than just throwing in new ones (Samsung Galaxy eye-ball tracking, I'm looking at you).

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Dave 126
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Thanks for your responses guys. : D

Judging from what you say, and from other forums, it seems that negativity surrounding WindowsPhone is based mainly on

- People's personal frustration with past MS products, from DOS onwards.

- People's opinion of MS's business practices, a distrust of sorts,

- A fear, justified by past events such WinPho 7 handsets not upgradable to later versions a la iOS or Android (you mileage may vary), that MS may abandon your investment in a handset and ecosystem, or force some unwanted change or 'update' on you. People might not mind too much, except they don't trust MS not to bugger it up (Ribbon Interface, Metro on a laptop)

-Availability of apps... though many people don't need too many apps.

-Integration with certain online services... though not everyone uses Gmail or whatever.

-No microSD card expansion... though not all Android handsets offer this facility.

It would seem that there might be some people out there who won't really be affected by any of the above points.

+ The 'Children's Zone' seems like a good idea given how people use their phones to entertain children on long car journeys... though Android now offers multiple limited user accounts which might perform the same function.

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Dave 126
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Out of curiosity, are you put off by the actual UI, the availability of particular apps, or the online services that winPho works well with? Just asking.

I'm an Android user, but I wish WinPho well - competition is good for Android, and iOS isn't really a competitor to the whole range of Android devices.

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Dave 126
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Hehe... and if you're feeling really daft, there is the Samsung Galaxy NX, a 'compact system camera' (or EVIL -electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) with 4G wireless connectivity. Trouble is, it cost more than a WiFi-only NX camera and a Galaxy S4 phone combined. Oh, and you can't use it as a phone.

http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/2013/06/21/GALAXY-NX-1

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The future of PCIe: Get small, speed up, think outside the box

Dave 126
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Re: simplicity ... helps developers ... reap the benefits of PCIe in small form-factor devices.

Q: PCIe technology is in every server, workstation and laptop PC. Why is PCIe over M-PHY a suitable I/O technology for tablet and smartphone devices?

A: As a broadly adopted technology standard, PCIe benefits from several decades of innovations with universal support in all major Operating Systems, a robust device discovery and configuration mechanism, and comprehensive power management capabilities that very few, if any, of the other I/O technologies can match. PCIe technology has a flexible, layered protocol that enables innovations to occur at each layer of the architecture independent of the other layers. In this way, power-efficient PHY technologies, such as MIPI M-PHY, can be integrated with the familiar and highly functional PCIe protocol stack to deliver best-in-class and highly scalable I/O performance in tablet and smartphone devices.

-taken from http://www.pcisig.com/news_room/faqs/FAQ_pci_express_and_m-phy/

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Billionaire engineer Ray Dolby, 80, dies at home in San Francisco

Dave 126
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I remember reading an interesting article about magnetic recording in New Scientist, but I can't find a reference online to copy-past here, the gist comes from my memory:

Situation: Adolf Hitler wants to broadcast messages to his forces. Problem: The Allies can triangulate the transmitter and drop bombs on it, and by association on Hitler himself. Possible solution: Have Adolf pre-record his messages. Problem: Recording fidelity isn't high enough to convince the Allies that Adolf is making a live broadcast. Solution: Add a high frequency signal to the magnetic wire recordings. As it was explained to me, this HF signal excited the magnetic particles, making them more receptive to the desired signal.

The following article makes no mention of the above application, but does describe how the technique of adding a HF signal was discovered by accident (page 4):

www.richardhess.com/tape/history/Engel--Walter_Weber_2006.pdf

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Dave 126
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Re: I think

You don't do heavy metal in Dobly, you know.

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Microsoft announces iPad amnesty for fanbois

Dave 126
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>"Microsoft will be hoping that customers use the dosh to buy a new Surface RT or Pro tablet, perhaps failing to notice the poor reviews it has clocked up."

Links to those reviews please! I knew the RT had clocked up poor reviews, but many reviews of the Surface Pro are middling to positive.

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

Dave 126
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Re: Forget 64 bits, and fix the 1 bit that's broken - the battery

Didn't Motorola have a range of phones, with some variants having big batteries? (US-only, IIRC).

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