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* Posts by Dave 126

4135 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

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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Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

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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... 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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Movie bosses demand Google take down takedown notices

Dave 126
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Re: Quality

Good for you, but we didn't have a break down of how much many copies are downloaded 'as soon as possible' i.e movie cams, screeners and TV shows, and how many are DVD/BluRay rips which come later.

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The healing hands of guru Dabbs

Dave 126
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It's the same old combo of Sod's Law, Murphey's Law and Tucker's Law. Searching for the latter is NSFW, btw.

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Norkoshop: How Pyongyang well and truly forked Adobe

Dave 126
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>They have nuclear devices capable of creating a detonation. That's not the same as a nuclear weapon. They could still be the size of a truck and not in any way weaponised.

An ICBM, it is true, does allow you to place the 'kaboom!' on your enemies and not on yourself (a rough and ready definition of weapon), but a boat would do the trick as well- albeit slower and open to interception.

If a bloody large wooden horse is off-loaded in a US port with a tag reading "To honour our victorious enemies, love and kisses, Kim Jong Un"....

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Dave 126
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>El Reg has nukes?!

Yeah they do, but for peaceful purposes. The SPB has yet to finish proof-reading their report on their efforts, though:

Having sourced material from smoke alarms processed on a conventional gas hob, they intend to put a plymobilenaut into orbit by launching a succession of bombs behind the launch vehicle.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion) for more details of this principle.

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Dave 126
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I did like the spoof Facebook status update:

Kim Jong Un: I really really mean it this time!!!

[America likes this]

China: What's up, hun?

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60-inch Apple iTV to be controlled by iRing remote?

Dave 126
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Galaxy? In more of a spiral shape, but the visual innuendo still holds.

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Dave 126
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Re: And exactly what is supposed to power the ring?

> another is that the consumer will often be part of a family

Good point, and it has given me an idea- with more devices capable as acting as a remote control (traditional IR, phones and tablets over Blutooth, WiFi, whatever) there is more scope for conflicting instructions being issued to the TV/Set Top Box. My solution? When a multi-user command conflict is detected, the users are thrown into a quick bout of Tetris/Tekken to decide who has 'the power' for the next half hour.

I use the word 'solution' in the broadest sense etc...

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Lasers capture 3D images from a kilometre away

Dave 126
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>New gap in the market for new range of stealth clothes

[Insert picture of Kylie Minogue in her sequin dress] Though it might be more conspicuous in many scenarios.

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Wanna put your toaster and fridge online? Over to you, Ofcom

Dave 126
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Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

Oh, and the terminally forgetful or OCD would like the reassurance of confirming that they have indeed turned off the iron, as they are en route to their holiday.

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Dave 126
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Re: What? @Shasta McNasty

>What is the obsession with everything having to be online and interconnected?

The argument for the fridges being connected is that they could be instructed to turn itself off during events such as the proverbial "millions of kettles put on during the Coronation Street advert break", thus reducing the load on the National Grid. The thermal mass of a fridge or freezer is such that being turned off for five minute would not result in any appreciable change in temperature.

Most of the time the grid functions well below its maximum capacity, and only approaches it for short peaks. Which means it has to be engineered to cope with loads that are rarely required. To cope with spikes in demand, things such as gas turbine generators have long been used, since a conventional power station can't react quickly enough to meet them.

Of course there are security concerns, but having simple measure in the end device - such as only responding to power-off commands for ten minutes in any hour, for example - would go a long way to limit any malicious intent.

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Dave 126
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Re: Red Dwarf

"...until he [Talkie Toaster] was involved in an 'accident' involving Lister and a 14lb lump hammer"

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