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* Posts by Dave 126

4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Movie review: Oblivion

Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: Damn, two sentences ending in a preposition?

>"And then on from there to Saturn's moon Titan, where Earth's population evacuated to."

It's a new form of spacecraft propulsion... you have the reaction mass.

The sub-editor character in season 5 of The Wire explained it well to an underling:

"Buildings are evacuated, people are not. Well, you CAN evacuate a person, but I don't think that's what you mean in this context"

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Dave 126
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Slightly off topic

I was just thinking about sci-fi films that have used a real, solid location instead of CGI sets... interior locations that spring to mind (and please contribute):

Aliens- an old power station

Silent Running - an aircraft carrier

The Abyss - an unused cooling pond at a nuclear power station

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Dave 126
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Re: "Tom Cruise" - Hollywoods permier scientology creepozoid

> Movies really suck these days since the studios became corporate.

Digital cameras have reduced the cost for independent film makers, as digital cinema has reduced the cost of distribution... but yeah, if you want a film with a freak-off big budget, you need to go corporate. However, more can be done with less- ideally through imaginative location-scouting than CGI.

Okay, we're not all lucky enough to live near a city with a few arts cinemas, but hell, more people are able to afford a large TV and sound-system in their own homes these days. There are plenty of interesting films being made and released on DVD n BluRay- how are you with subtitles?

Yeah, it's true that Mssrs Cameron and Scott's returns to the sci-fi genre were disappointing, but we've had Moon, District 9, Primer, Dredd...

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Dubai splurges on 700hp, 217mph Lamborghini police cruiser

Dave 126
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>and this Lambo has more than enough giddy-up to overtake lead foots (lead feet?) with effortless celerity.

Really, what if the offending motorist is also in a stupidly fast car?

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Dave 126
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Re: The Saudis used Lambos too...

RRC, the Italian police's Lambos were more of a PR effort.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well...

Not just the Subaru Impreza, but a Prodrive-tuned Subaru Impreza, from the company who did Colin McRae's winning cars. Humberside police were the first to have one, as a few criminals tried some off-road evasive tactics. As well as being faster, the Prodrive versions have panels underneath to protect the car from rocks and debris.

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Facebook Home gets SMACKDOWN from irate users

Dave 126
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Re: FB Phone

Ideally, one would be able to get the useful functionality of a Facebook-like service whilst retaining control through using an open-source peer-to-peer social network... I'm sure Eadon would approve, too.

I wish Diaspora well, though I've only just read of the sad death of its co-founder in 2011.

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Dave 126
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Re: I wonder...

I can't imagine it does one's battery life much good, either.

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Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

Dave 126
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Re: Supercomputer Ipad

I seem to recall that Minds cheated by keeping most of their 'hardware' in hyperspace, or in some folded dimension or somesuch!

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Dave 126
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Re: Using what definition of supercomputer?

>Using what definition of supercomputer?

Yeah, I was wondering that too...

Jeff Goldblum used to profess am opinion on this!

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Moist iPhone fanbois tempted with golden Apple shower offer

Dave 126
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Re: RE: unique to iPhones?

>Seeing as Apple haven't threatened to sue anyone over it, I think it's safe to assume it's iPhone only.

I've seen advertisements in engineering journals for 3M's version of the tape years before the iPhone was released.

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Space elevators, vacuum chutes: What next for big rocket tech?

Dave 126
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And it's a good book for the author's notes at the back, in which he outlines the history of the space elevator concept- and also owns up to shifting Sri Lanka onto the equator.

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Handwriting beats PowerPoint's teaching power says MIT boffin

Dave 126
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Its amazing how people don't get it.

I have one friend who occasionally send me one long paragraph, a rant about all the different issues and annoyances he is currently suffering with his PC... I keep trying to educate him about bullet-points - or even just line breaks - but it doesn't seem to sink in. I try to get him to look at the way (some) instruction manuals, texts-books or magazines are laid out to clearly present information, but no...

On another note:

One small backward step we have is that many of us use webmail through a browser, depriving us of the line indent traditionally associated with the Tab key.

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Dave 126
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The article reminded me of the text books on electronics written by Forest M Mims III

Link to a picture of one his book pages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_Mims#Author

An interesting bloke, worth spending five minute reading about. He made an analogue computer in high school, then a navigation aid for his blind grandfather using infra-red LEDs, and developed an interest in amateur rocketry (which caused some panic since he was posted in Vietnam at the time).

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Geolocation tech to save 60 Londoners from being run over next year

Dave 126
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Re: @Madra - Harsh but fair...

Especially those who don't use them on mini-roundabouts.

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'Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console'

Dave 126
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Re: 'Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console'

"That one bloke who ranted on about it isn't indicative of Microsoft's official position on the matter whatsoever, especially as he has nothing to do with the development of the next Xbox at all."

It is important for companies to get their message out clearly about their products . Anything that has to be explained away (even if the explanation is valid) or clarified is taking away from the attention that prospective customers will give to your proper message.

Far more people will hear "MS man said..." than will hear "...but he was speaking in a personal capacity and is not related to the project being discussed" and that's just the way the world works.

He was well aware that there was an information vacuum on the subject, and that rumours and opinions were circulation, because it was what prompted him to make the remarks in the first place.

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Go-go Gadget watch? Apple posts job ad for 'flexible display' bod

Dave 126
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>That wouldn't be news. Or "biting the hand that feeds IT".

Nor are regular Reg sections such as 'Geeks guide', 'Product Roundup' or 'Antique Code Show', so I'm not sure of your point.

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Dave 126
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Rather that drip feed 'iWatch' rumours, lets have a round up of other attempts at a smart-watch, past and present.

We could include the Casio Databank watches, the Swatch pager watch, that Microsoft thing one held in-front of a monitor... current efforts include the Sony watch, Pebble, I'm Watch, and a Casio G-Shock with Bluetooth.

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Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

Dave 126
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No more than your PC is... you might have only have turned it on to watch a locally-stored movie, but if it finds an internet connection it will still want to check for updates etc I can always turn off my WiFi or unplug the ethernet cable, though.

Two minutes sounds a little excessive to connect to XBOX Live, though.

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... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

Dave 126
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Re: If they had a time machine...

>They could look back and see that their religion was a made up crock...

What have you got against Zoroastrianism?

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Sonic the Hedgehog

Dave 126
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Re: my favourite game

On Green Hill Zone, couldn't you gain two extra lives, then kill yourself and get them again to slowly build up a reserve of 'lives'?

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Dave 126
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Too busy on the Dreamcast playing House of the Dead...

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Dave 126
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Re: Sonic

I think there was a soundtrack album recorded by an orchestra, too!

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Dave 126
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Re: The speed.

Myself and my teenage mates didn't have a Megadrive, but we rented one from the local video shop for the weekend, with Sonic 2. It was ace!

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Dave 126
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Re: Not Sonic's first appearance in a Sega game...

Dang Babbit55, it only allowed me to reward you +1!

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Dave 126
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Not Sonic's first appearance in a Sega game...

His image was in a previous game... +10 geek points to the first to name it! : D

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Google asks Blighty to slave over its Maps for FREE

Dave 126
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Right o, I've got some tigers and sea monsters to add!

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WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

Dave 126
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Re: GPU encoding

Hiya Tom, I had a look through that articles, and if I'm reading them right, their issues seem to be with the current (Windows) software tools that aim to harness discrete GPUs (and newer Intel solutions) for encoding. A common issue seems to be silly quirks, such as defaulting to near 30fps when the input is 24, inconsistant hardware support, and the need to delve into complicated options dialogues (which rather defeats the object of buying a solution sold on its ease of use).

I guess a problem is that, unlike other forms of GPU-assisted computing such as mechanical simulation, the result of video encoding is subjective and human-specific; the end viewer is far more likely to notice aberrations on an actor's face than they are on a terracotta vase prop.

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Dave 126
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Happy

Sod off! : D

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Hard luck lads, todger size DOES matter: Official

Dave 126
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Re: Also @stevenroper

>MEN LIKE BIG TITS!!!!!!!

There is variation in men's preferences, just as there is in the body shape of those they fancy.

However, to paraphrase Dawkins, sexual selection accelerates evolution. Say you were a peacock with a big tail. Your mate is attracted to your big tail. She inherited that preference from her mother, so the chances are that her dad had a big tail too. Therefore your offspring will have two sets of genes for a big tail- those inherited from you, and those inherited from the father of your mate.

Apparently, when played out, this explains why the female preference is usually for a tail that is a little bigger than the population average.

-from the Explosions and Spirals chapter of The Blind Watchmaker.

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Dave 126
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Re: Vaporware

>My car accelerates rather smoothly to 60mph. This system appears to pulse once per minute. I think that was the OP's point.

That's probably not an insurmountable issue... shock absorbers.

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Dave 126
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Re: Speed demon..

D'oh, I thought that was a reference to the Rastafarian space station in the novel Neuromancer, that featured a substantial sound-system.

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Dave 126
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Re: Astonishing and nice!

> imagine what it might do for other mission types.

Diverting asteroids that are heading our way should be on the list!

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Vinyl sales reach 15 year high, Blighty becomes No. 3 music buyer

Dave 126
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Re: The music industry: @Mark Honman

>I'm sticking with CDs because I want a DRM free copy (to rip to my mobile), and I want a maximum quality copy for playing through the home hi fi

The best quality digital format is not CD, but via download (up to 192Khz, 24bit from HDTracks.com or example- I haven't used them so this isn't a recommendation) or BluRay. Though yeah, it is nice to have something to hold, and good to have a CD if your server somehow dies.

Curiously, the biggest illegal downloader of music that I know is also the biggest buyer of CDs, vinyl and DVDs.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Dave 126
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Re: Sun workstations

The 1989 SPARCstation- that was Frog Design again.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wot? No Atari ST?

Yeah, I always thought the ST was better looking, especially the parallelogram function keys.

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Dave 126
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Re: First two were apple

So you posted to say that you chose to be deliberately ignorant, and then expect your opinion based on assumptions to count for anything? Okay...

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Dave 126
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Re: Air?

> doesn't really have any design to it what so ever

It is because so many wrongly take 'design' to only refer to the appearance of things that Dieter Rams prefers the the term (translated into English) 'Form Engineering'.

'Design' should mean no less than the consideration of every aspect of the product, from engineering, ergonomics, aesthetics, storage, disposal, marketing.... the works.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good try...

>Never understood why the iMac G4 design didn't last - was it a flop, unreliable, etc.?

The article cited a dodgy power switch and production problems with the case.... but it was also said that some people (pointy-haired bosses?) would place paperwork on top of it and thus block its vents.

Another reason is that it was pricer than the Mac Pros at the time, and less upgradable.

I liked the way the Cube was designed around the thermal considerations- having the motherboard arranged to form a chimney to encourage air convection was a good idea. The other obviously good idea (even to tech-illiterate PHBs, who shout 'Who will rid me of this snake's nest of cables on my desk?!") was the single cable from the Cube to the monitor, carrying video signal, power, audio and USB- the latter daisy-chained to the keyboard and onto the mouse.

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Dave 126
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Re: original cray was better

>The mac stuff looks nice but it's form over function - fewer ports, non removable batteries etc.

When Apple did do removable batteries, they did them well (each had a little button that showed its charge level through some LEDs).

Anyway, replacing a battery is not a weekly operation - some greater inconvenience every four years is for some a fair trade-off if it means the thing is lighter to carry every day. Design, like engineering, is a succession of compromises.

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Dave 126
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Re: I seem to recall..

GRiD Compass featured in Aliens (Special Edition) to control the automatic sentry guns:

http://www.therpf.com/f9/aliens-1986-prop-identification-30882/

I also quite liked the Atari Portfolio, as used in Terminator 2 by John Conner get money from an ATM.

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Dave 126
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Re: If you're going to include games consoles...

Okay, your point holds- you can connect a mouse, keyboard, local storage and an external monitor to both the PS3 and SG3 to satisfy some definition of 'computer', but personally I find the SGS3 to be a little generic-looking to be featured in a 'top ten sexy' list.

Curiously, the original Playstation was a deliberate homage by the Sony Design Centre to Frog Design's work for Apple... especially the use of grill-like lines in the casing. Frog have worked with Sony in the past though, since they worked with Wega before Sony bought it. And having just looked at their site, I see they designed my first ever mouse, a Logitech that came with an Olivetti 8086.

I visited their NY studio once, and on display was a 90s-era black cast-magnesium PC case with the same ridges... only this time more functional as the case itself would act as a heatsink. I can't remember who the client was, I think I just assumed it was IBM.

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Dave 126
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Re: PS3? The George Foreman Grill?

I'd forgotten about all those Cray advertisements that were in the piles of old National Geographic magazines I was bought up with. The adverts stated that they were supercomputers, but they always looked like modernist furniture.

There are a range of products and brands I'll always associate with that magazine and era: Rolex, SLRs (usually pictured next to a marble chess set and a whisky glass), Seiko digital watches, Datsun, Betamax VCRs, Wildlife as Canon sees it, BMW, various airlines...

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Operators look on in horror as Facebook takes mobe users Home

Dave 126
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>Facebook already annoys me by always defaulting to shitty mobile view on my phone

I think the Dolphin browser allows you to set 'desktop' as its default user agent.

Anyway, enough of this - when is The Reg going to release its own Android skin?! : P

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Dave 126
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Re: Why would anyone want this?

>Re: Why would anyone want this?

Convenience. Not everybody has got around to collecting telephone numbers and email addresses from everybody they might wish to contact- Facebook often serves as a glorified addresses book and messaging system. Even from people who have my email address, I regularly receive messages sent through Facebook (forwarded to my Gmail)- which is annoying since replying to them is a long-winded processes for me (because I refuse to activate my phone's FB integration, and keep it at arms-length in the browser).

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Dave 126
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No, its just another Android phone with this FB skin pre-loaded.

Anyways, I use the Ice Cream Sandwich 'battery saver' mode, which means that my phone doesn't use its data connection when in standby to receive live email / instant messages etc- so even if I wanted my lock-screen to be constantly updated with a succession of baby/puppy/comedy images (I don't), it would be too much of a power drain.

The Sony skin on my handset has some sort of FB integration pre-loaded- exactly what I don't know, as I have never logged in to it for fear of Bad Things happening (like my contacts' email addresses being replaced with @Facebook). If I ever get around to rooting the phone, I'll get rid of it, along with a currently unremovable McAfee trial.

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Review: HP ElitePad 900 Atom tablet

Dave 126
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Re: Win 8 Pro - good enough for real apps?

The same chip being reviewed in a different convertablet:

"Beyond our scripted test, we spent some time actually using Photoshop and found it to be impressively responsive, both with a mouse and the digitizer pen. It's really only when you tax the 500T's limited resources that they buckle."

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ativ-smart-pc-500t-windows-8-atom,3360-8.html

>false advertising?

'Pro' doesn't mean anything... the requirements of a video production professional differ from that of, say, an event organiser.

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Get lost, drivers: Google Maps is not for you – US judge

Dave 126
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Re: I always use my phone for Google's GPS when I'm in California

>You can get 3 points on your licence in Britain for using a hand-held mobile phone,

As several papers pointed out at the time that legislation came in, it seems only to refer to mobile phones, with 'similar device' being a fuzzy term. There have been successful defences on the premise the driver was using their phone to record a voice memo.

However, as the Gov guidance notes, it is what the police officer at the time thinks is distracting. Like that driver who was prosecuted for holding an apple (the fruit) whilst driving.

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Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

Dave 126
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Re: > steam sale type prices (Always Online Required)

>It is far more likely to boost sales of the PS4 than the console it's designed for.

Yep, and given that there would appear to be less difference between the next generation of XBOX and PlayStation than between their current models, silly decisions like this on MS's part could have more of a negative impact on them.

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Apple handed victory in Samsung text-selection patent case

Dave 126
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Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

>I think it is hilarious that they tried to patent the "detection of a a microphone or other device is plugged into a device's input jack"

They haven't. They've tried to patent a METHOD of doing so... the merits of which are a different question. You've confused means for end.

Shimano didn't try to patent the idea of putting brakes on a bicycle, but they did patent the idea of using a cam to increase the mechanical advantage throughout the travel of the brake lever so that the brake pads initially move quickly.

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