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* Posts by Dave 126

4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

FRBs and variable forces: a big week for astronomy

Dave 126
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Re: The laws of physics do NOT change in different places.

Richard Feynman used a chess analogy well: "Imagine you have to deduce the laws of the game from watching a game of chess... eventually you think you have a good grasp of it- how the pieces move... and then a player 'castles'- you haven't seen this behaviour before!"

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Our new top Android ten-incher

Dave 126
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Re: Really?

Don't know, but most reviews say the screen looks pretty good. Proof of the pie etc

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Dave 126
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Re: Paying a lot for that light weight

No worries! You can also get an MHL-HDMI adaptor for less than a tenner.

Not only that, but I believe the Tablet Z also has native support for Sony's PS3 DualShock controllers.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2310604

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Dave 126
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Re: Paying a lot for that light weight

It connects to TVs by means of MHL through the microUSB port, which is actually a better solution than microHDMI because the TV supplies power to the tablet at the same time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link

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Dave 126
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Re: Almost had me!

I would have though the low battery life is less of an issue for a sofa-bound tablet than it is for an out-and-about tablet.

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Dave 126
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Re: using it in the bath ... probably wouldn’t figure in my usage regime

Waterproofing is handy for those who use their tablet in the kitchen to view recipes (or use the multiple count-down timers).

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Prince of Persia: Baggy trousers and curvy swords

Dave 126
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Re: One of a number early PC classics (yes, I know started on non-PC hardware)

Dang, I never completed Gods... I got as far as the last boss battle - a a giant serpent dragon thing - and slung a load of axes at him... but no cigar.

I don't think I ever got past the second level of Xenon 2, at least without using the invincibility cheat ('F7' at the VGA/ EGA selection screen, then 'i' in-game)

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Dave 126
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Paul Verhoeven was rumoured a few years back to be making a film adaptation of The Last Express, though there seems to be no more recent news about this.

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MSX: The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming!

Dave 126
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Re: Fond memories

>Alas, it's all bulky desktops or not-quite-top-notch notebooks today...

There are 'net-tops' (i.e, PCs about the size of a Mac Mini) and the recent Intel reference platform for similar things... get some glue, some straps and some foam rubber and you might not be far off the thing you want.

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Dave 126
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>And wasn't the orginal MSG released on the MSX?

Mono Sodium Glutamate? Don't worry, we know you meant MGS! :) Metal Gear, and Metal Gear II: Solid Snake were on MSX-2, Metal Gear Solid was on Playstation.

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New Motorola Mobility badge: Too late for this pinball machine lover

Dave 126
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Pinball Exhibition

It's on the wrong continent for me, but for anyone near Chicago in October...

http://www.pinballexpo.net/index2.php

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Dave 126
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Custom Pinball Machine

Ben Heck is known to many of us as the man who creates game controllers for people with only one hand, or making XBOX 360 laptops... however, he was making his own pinball machine a while back.

If you have a love of hardware hacking, take a look:

http://benheck.com/

His latest projects include a 3D-printed Spam-saver lid (the luncheon meat, not the unwanted email) and a PC keyboard with analogue WASD keys for gaming...

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Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

Dave 126
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Re: Blimey...

>A single hour of flight in an F-22 costs $68,362 and the aircraft requires a month's rebuilding after 300 hours in the air. Curse you, Congress!

Yeah, but wouldn't any time an F-22 spent 'escorting' a passenger jet be time that pilots would otherwise spend in training? Also, I would imagine that an F-22 is overkill for such a task- surely there is a cheaper, slower (but still fast enough) 'plane for the job?

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Google developing game console, smartwatch, new Q?

Dave 126
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Re: Android+AMD(CPU+GPU)+Steam Big Picture+Half Life 3

Out of curiosity, how difficult would it be to have a Linux 'Steam Box' run Android games, such as those for the Ouya games console?

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Trick-cyclist's claim: I have FOUND how to get GIRLS INTO TECH

Dave 126
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Re: The bigger picture

>We don't hear much talk about getting more women working on building sites, plumbing or lorry driving (though obviously there are some who do these jobs) and we hear even less about getting more men into nursing and teaching.

There has long been a campaign in the UK to get more men working as primary school teachers, so as to give young children (not all of whom have a father living at home) a more balanced view of adults.

Birmingham council has decided that it is unfair that dinner ladies are not paid as much road sweepers, because each role is heavily staffed by women and men respectively.

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Play the Snowden flights boardgame: Avoid going directly to Jail

Dave 126
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Re: Flight path

>I don't see why the plane doesn't just fly in a straight line across the Atlantic, thus avoiding US airspace.

On a flat planet that might work. Meanwhile, back on this squished sphere we call home, you're going to require a curve.

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Dave 126
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Re: Iran

Mornington Crescent!

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Dave 126
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Re: I just listened to BBC R4 The MeeJah Show

I didn't take the conclusion of the Media Show as Snowden's leaks being too technical... a conclusion isn't their style. Curious that all the media attention is focused on the fate of a single man, as opposed to looking at the implications of what he leaked.

Probably the reason that the reaction to Snowden's leaked info hasn't raised too many eyebrows is that most people kinda suspected it was all going on anyway.

The response given in the case Arkell Vs Pressdam was when Private actually had evidence, as opposed to hearsay... normally they are happy to publish and be damned. There is a good tradition of 'Eye-told-you-so, as they are often vindicated years or decades after being successfully sued. l Vs Pressdam was when Private actually had evidence, as opposed to hearsay... normally they are happy to publish and be damned. There is a good tradition of 'Eye-told-you-so, as they are often vindicated years or decades after being successfully sued.

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Dave 126
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>"A the poor lil traitor "

Traitor to whom? His country-folk, or his state? Just how the hell does democracy have any legitimacy if the electorate do not have access to the facts? See "engineered consent" FFS.

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Dave 126
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Re: Airspace

>despite the fact that France itself had been the target of terrorism directed by the Gaddafi government in Libya.

Whatever. Too much smoke to tell. http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&article=122

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/hes_behind_you

"HOW COLONEL GADDAFI AND THE WESTERN ESTABLISHMENT

TOGETHER CREATED A PANTOMIME WORLD

"Things come and go in the news cycle like waves of fever. A year ago Colonel Gaddafi was killed and an avalanche of camera phone footage of his last minutes was played again and again on the news channels. Then it stopped - and Gaddafi disappeared off into the dark.

"What remains is all the footage recording Gaddafi's forty year career as a global weirdo. But the closer you look at the footage and what lies behind it - you begin to discover an odd story that casts a rather unflattering light on many of the elites in both the British and American establishments."

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Dave 126
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>How about a tunnel through the centre of the Earth instead?.

Repeat to yourself: 'I shall watch not remakes of classic Paul Verhoven films.' [Total Recall]

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Dave 126
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Re: Fly east?

> attracting attention, which may be the point of all this stupidity.

Quite. Whilst a cat and mouse game is fun and all, fewer people are taking notice of the import of what he leaked. How's Bradley getting, anyhows?

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Sony unveils latest attempt at an Android SmartWatch

Dave 126
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Re: These Things

If it doesn't feature a bezel spinning at high speed to cut ropes and chains, and a magnet to deflect bullets and unzip Miss Caruso's dress, I'm not interested!

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2011/10/13/james-bonds-rolex-5513-for-sale-complete-with-hyper-intensif.html

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Dave 126
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Re: I sort of agree.

>I've got no idea what that killer app might be, sadly.

How 'killer' that application needs to be (the benefit) depends upon the cost (retail price, appearance, battery life etc) of implementing it.

There are quite a few very useful things a 'connected' watch can do, without even having to boast a pixel-based display. Examples are 'Find my phone', 'warn me when my phone loses contact', 'mute my phone/reject call', ''pause music / skip track'.

Information that can be communicated to the user by means of just a watch hand include: direction of travel, speed, various notifications, minutes to next train etc.

My preference would be for simple 'connected' features included in a conventional, good looking watch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Work in progress

>I have no problem with the concept of wearable tech and I'm sure in time it will get to the point where it's actually stylish and functional, at which point it will become ubiquitous.

Terry - take a look at the Citizen Bluetooth watch. It resembles many other 'chronometer' watches.

It doesn't have a alpha-numeric display, but uses vibration and then the second-hand to indicate what message has come to the phone. One could imagine a more advanced version that uses the second-hand to guide the wearer towards GPS waypoints, for example.

http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/02/citizen-eco-drive-proximity/

Apparently it has similar disconnection issues to the first Sony smartwatch, though.

The latest Android update bought in Bluetooth Low Energy support - though only a handful of Android handsets have the hardware at the moment - bringing it in line with iOS and Win Pho 8.

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HGST: Enough of those MUTANT HYBRIDS. We'll do an Apple, thanks

Dave 126
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Re: I just choked on my morning coffee

I haven't read any horror stories about OSX's Logical Volume Manager since it came out nine months ago...

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/10/more-on-fusion-drive-how-it-works-and-how-to-roll-your-own/

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Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo: The big three slug it out at E3

Dave 126
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Re: Welcome to our world...

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/21/4452488/amd-sparks-x86-transition-for-next-gen-game-consoles

" EA Sports boss Andrew Wilson says that one reason none of its next-gen sports games are coming to PC is because Microsoft and Sony's new game consoles are actually more powerful than many PCs in a very specific, subtle way: "How the CPU, GPU, and RAM work together in concert,"

"That might sound suspiciously vague, but we spoke to AMD and it's actually true. The AMD chips inside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One take advantage of something called Heterogeneous Unified Memory Access (HUMA), GOOD FOR GAMING, GOOD FOR AMDwhich allows both the CPU and GPU to share the same memory pool instead of having to copy data from one before the other can use it."

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Dave 126
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Re: Will the 'Xbox 180' and 'PS4' be the greatest gaming experience ever?

>For starters I can't understand why the GTA team didn't try a new theatre i.e. an Italian, French or Asian inspired open world, instead its west coast CA yet again!

I for one always wanted a sci-fi style GTA... stealing futuristic vehicles like the racing craft found in WipeOut, or some Mechs.

>Unfortunately a lot of Indie developers are being forced to go small screen to stay in business, helped by the crushing Hollywood system.

Many developers - including people like John D. Carmack of iD Software - are welcoming the ability of indie developers to create games without having a budget of $millions. There seem to be plenty of 'AAA' titles available for consoles, despite a rise in 'casual gaming' - be it tablets or Nintendos.

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Dave 126
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>" But then I ask myself whether your average PS4 or Xbox One gamer – those brought up on a diet of Call of Duty and Fifa – would readily lap up the likes of Mario, et al?"

Some of us like some variety in our gaming diet... and households with several consoles in them are far from rare, especially in shared flats. Many PS gamers will have fond memories of GoldenEye 64, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Mario 64 or Wario Stadium Soccer.

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Sci-fi and horror scribe Richard Matheson: He is Legend

Dave 126
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It should go without saying...

... that the film I Am Legend (with Will Smith) is to the book what the film I, Robot (with, er, Will Smith) is to Isaac Asimov's novella.

Fercrysaaeks, the whole part of the book in which the phrase 'I Am Legend' is uttered is absent from the movie.

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Galaxy S4 way faster than iPhone 5: Which?

Dave 126
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Re: How does this translate in usage terms?

Depends on which i7 and i5 you have... the media transcoding part of Ivy Bridge's HD4000 component is fairly respectable.

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Dave 126
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@Peter Johnston 1

Apologies: judging from article text quoted in another comment, it would appear that the article was corrected in between your comment and my reading it.

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Dave 126
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>The Nexus 4 is much cheaper - not dearer - than the Sony

Forgive me if a correction has been made to the article since your comment, but I read " but the former [The Xperia Z] is more than ₤200 ($US308, $AU334) more expensive than Google's offering." to mean the Sony was more expensive than the Google Nexus 4.

The article was just reporting tests made by Which? magazine using a certain benchmark... as people have observed, there are other factors that affect how the phone performs in the real world. Which normally do recommend Apple products over competitors, mainly because their readership is looking for tech reviews in a monthly magazine and not on a tech website. Anandtech would tell you that the iPhone5 rules 'Sunspider' tests (something to do with its cache, apparently), but I don't know how that affects real-world use.

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The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Dave 126
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Re: You don't have to use simple frame discarding

>But then, Joe Public never sees the original studio quality, so he doesn't know what the compressor has decided he doesn't need to see; he doesn't know what he's missing.

C'mon, give Joe Public a break - he will have often have seen the same film by broadcast, video-on-demand, DVD and BluRay - and probably does notice the difference.

My favourite test? Watching a BBC Nature documentary on iPlayer- every time a flock of birds takes off from some exotic estuary, the screen becomes a mosaic of squares.

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Dave 126
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I haven't seen The Hobbit at 48 fps, but I have noticed strobing in the cinema in most of the big action 'event' movies of the last ten years... especially in big action tracking shots, such as in Star Wars III.

Ridley Scott seemed to have embraced the strobing in the opening battle scene of Gladiator, to give the viewer an impression of how the participants in the battle might feel disorientated.

Good article.

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Not work! - Firmware hacks

Dave 126
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Another idea, potentially daft:

Might it possible to shoe-horn the internals of another phone (with a nicer OS) into the case of your RAZR V3, and hook em up the the V3's battery? Just a lateral thought!

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Sony set to launch smartwatch in Shanghai next week

Dave 126
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Re: Please

This Bluetooth watch looks like many normal analogue watches:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/6/4402344/citizen-eco-drive-proximity-review-a-different-kind-of-smartwatch

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Out with a bang: The Last of Us lets PS3 exit with head held high

Dave 126
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Re: Last great game of the generation?

Wasn't the first Dark Souls the game that allowed human players to control monsters during their online peer's solo campaigns?

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Dave 126
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Why has Scott Green been downvoted for merely pointing out that this game is not a First-Person Shooter but a Third Person title that doesn't reward out-and-out gun-play in all situations?

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PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?

Dave 126
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Re: My thoughts...

>4) Last year’s hardware is still easily good enough to run just about anything you’d care to throw at it. Hardware upgrades are now either on lease expiry or damage, not “we don’t have the processing power, and that “Turbo” button is fooling nobody”.

Hence the 'new' Macbook Air, and other laptops built on Intel's new chips; it's being promoted as lasting longer on battery than last year's already-fast-enough model.

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'Smart ring' revealed by upstart Chinese mobe-maker

Dave 126
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Re: pulse "AND" heartbeat monitoring

For gym-bunnies, and for people with medical conditions that require monitoring. Many of the less-serious heart conditions could be more easily diagnosed if you could present a consultant with a fortnight's log of heart data.

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Dave 126
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Re: RFID?

RFID-tag under the skin (like my dog). There's a YouTube video of someone who has done this, and built a lock-box for their handgun... the idea is that they have instant access to a weapon, but their kids don't.

I rather like the idea of a ring or watch with RFID- any handset or tablet you pick up becomes 'yours', with your contacts, mail, documents etc. (obviously the security aspect needs further thought...)

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First look: iOS 7 for iPad

Dave 126
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Re: I like clean and minimalistic but..

Though I've heard good things of 'stock' Android, I like the dark skin Sony use on their handsets.

Surely bright white wallpapers cause more battery drain?

And who was it who recommended Dolphin browser? Damned thing shows a white page whilst its loading... how was that ever a great idea?

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Dave 126
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Re: Phone, Face Time and Message blocking.

That's fine, but in the UK unsolicited sales calls are more often than not made from different numbers.

(though I have created a contact called 'Z Spam' of previous junk numbers and instructed my Android handset to send them straight to voicemail... Hmmm, must look into finding a compiled blacklist of numbers on-line, and adding that, too).

I iliked this, from Private Eye:

Last week Independent hack Tom Peck struck a blow for over-informed journalists everywhere when he finally snapped and sent a reply to the 9994th email from a PR pushing a product and claiming “I hope this news story brightens up your Wednesday!”

“Well it doesn’t brighten up my fucking day does it, because it’s fucking bollocks, and I will get a million more like it within the next ten minutes, making it near on impossible not to miss the important stuff I do need to read, because you pricks insist on sending me cosmic fucking wank like this,” ran his unimprovable riposte.

Was he congratulated by grateful colleagues for this constructive feedback? Was he heck. When the PR company in question complained to Indy editor Chris Blackhurst, Peck was hauled into the editor’s office, bollocked, and ordered to write an apology.

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NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: 'Grow a pair!'

Dave 126
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Re: I'd like to hear more about endpoint security from this guy.

>So Mr. Snowden, what exactly *are* we doing wrong with endpoint security that's making our encryption easy to work around, anyway? Are we talking about people's PCs, or servers here?

If the person you are communicating with (or their machine) is compromised, so are your communications with that person.

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Dave 126
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Stop

Re: A modern hero

Yet in other posts, Eadon has attacked the funding model upon which the BBC is built, when the alternative often leads to entities such as Fox News- or else to a situation such as Italy when the president owns much of the broadcast media.

/

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Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

Dave 126
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It says a lot that Johnparchem has been heavily downvoted, when what he says is supported by Tomshardware:

"In general, our analysis suggests that the ARM-based CPU core is excellent at doing nothing, but starts to require considerably more power during computationally-intensive workloads... In this scenario, the CPU cores aren't cranking away, but the graphics core is still refreshing the screen and reading from memory. This constant reading taxes the memory controller, and is one reason why the Atom maintains low power consumption. Under heavier loads, we saw the Tegra 3 take a double hit as CPU power use ramped up quickly, along with the memory controller's draw.

Even though manufacturing technology is one of Intel's obvious strengths, the efficiency of its memory controller also becomes quite apparent in the company's power measurements. Intel and AMD have both pointed out the challenges facing ARM as it moves to 64-bit out-of-order execution, since both companies took years to refine and perfect their own implementations. Memory control is just another one of those areas Intel and AMD dedicate a lot of R&D to optimizing."

-http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/atom-z2760-power-consumption-arm,3387-5.html

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Dave 126
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Re: No surprise there

>Sure these facts need to be confirmed by other testers but it's not like it's a real surprise.

>Anandtech came to basically the same conclusions a few monthes ago.

Thank you Sil, I'm glad someone has been paying attention to recent developments. "ARM is more power efficient" has become near dogma, when the reality is actually more interesting. Another bench-mark heavy site, Tomshardware, has been looking at this too.

I don't care what my next phone is built around, and I'm not saying Go Intel: I'm saying lets have more data.

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Dave 126
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Re: Intel sponsored "research"?

>Total energy to complete a given task is what matters.

That is the methodology that Intel have been pushing:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/atom-z2760-power-consumption-arm,3387-5.html

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Dave 126
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Re: What about standby power consumption?

> If you're gaming all day or playing video it's going to be important but the screen is still likely to top power use.

This Atom uses Power VR-designed graphics like many of its ARM competitors, so playing video might not be the area the biggest differences are seen.

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