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* Posts by Dave 126

4212 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

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

>Rechargeable, so it needs to spend time on an induction pad every few hours?

You missed the Reg article on Apple's patents on selective wireless charging with a range of around a metre

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/02/apple_wireless_charging_patent/

Besides, it might be the size of a wedding band, or it might be more like one of those little ring mice people use for presentations, or it might be complete bunkum.

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Dave 126
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Re: Won't someone think of the children?

>found buried in dust inside a heating vent or deep in the crack between dishwasher and drawers.

Losing it seems only of the chief issues. The best remote controller I saw was the size of a house brick and painted hi-vis orange - a remote for a overhead gantry in a factory. That looks great, I told the fitter, no way that can get easily lost like a TV remote.

"You'd have thought so," he replied "but some cnut always manages to hide it in his toolbox"

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Dave 126
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Re: Consider it..

>Consider it.. ...a badge of ownership.

A little bit like the Bang and Olufsen key-fob remote control:

" With it you are able to turn on the radio, TV and lights as you step through the door and switch everything off again as you leave! " though it strikes me, for the same functionality, you'd be better off with a wall-mounted unit next to your front door.

-http://www.beoworld.org/prod_details.asp?pid=734

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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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Dave 126
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Re: Why no shoes?

>Why no shoes? What's up with that?

Good question. I don't know, but I note that there are no metal zips, watches, spectacles or watch buckles visible on the subjects, either. Perhaps there was a risk lace eyelets on shoes upsetting the laser?

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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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Gaming's favourite platters get another stir of the pot

Dave 126
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Re: Cake and pineapples

The cake is a lie.

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ARM, TSMC tape out 64-bit Cortex-A57 chip on 16 nanometers

Dave 126
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Re: 16 nm!

Hehe. With these modern razors, I can't get that little bit of stubble right under my nose, and have to resort to a plastic Bic. 'Movember' be damned, I'm leaving moustaches to Errol Flyn, David Niven, WW2 RAF pilots and other dashing fellows!

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Dave 126
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Re: A ARM-PC?

Apple only switched to Intel after it had demonstrated its advantages over rivals for a few years- AMD was a bit hot at the time, Power chips more so - and their hand was forced. Besides, not all of the ARM architecture's power savings currently translate for desktop/laptop purposes, certainly not enough to go through all the bother of causing 3rd party developers loads of work. So, I would image Apple will continue with a 'wait and see' bet-hedging strategy, using this new ARM in one of their more niche products first (like an Apple TV) first, if at all.

Or I'm completely wrong, and Apple will appeal to their traditional power users (those whose tools often emulate pens, knobs and sliders - i.e graphics, video and music) and bring out a Wacom-threatening iOS super iPad designed more for productivity than consumption (I don't really think so... such people can already tether their pad and use it as a control surface if they want to).

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Ancient website from 1999: By Mark Zuckerberg aged 15¾

Dave 126
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Re: The Web

Personal websites...

In the days before mobile phones were totally ubiquitous (yet WAP was beginning to rear its monochrome head), I was tempted to create a site to let people know what pubs I would be in at various times that evening. Back then, it wasn't uncommon for a group of people to say "We'll be in the Red Lion 7.30 til 8.30, then the Tavern til 11, then the Parrot Club" and stick to it, so the idea had some legs. As it turned out, I was too busy drinking to be bothered.

There must have been thousands of people around the world at the time who had similar 'social networking' concepts, but were too busy socialising to do anything about it.

By the time I had graduated, sites skin to Myspace but for product designers had appeared, so there didn't seem to be much point.

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Dave 126
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From the website:

"However, it is fairly uncommon for a person to have an effect on the Internet without going through the long and tedious process of creating a website."

Surely he must have heard of Pamela Anderson? She had a bit of an impact on the net in the '90s.

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Dave 126
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Re: Java applets

-Daddy, what's Java?

-Well, son, it is a program that throws up frequent notifications from your task bar demanding to be updated, then tries to install a search bar onto your browser. Beyond that, I don't really know.

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Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC

Dave 126
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Re: Not a Pi rival, more a Mac-mini clone

>Thunderbird option is interesting though

As would Stingray, Scarlet and Fireball sockets! Now I know what my laptop has been missing! : D

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Dave 126
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Re: No need to drag politics in please - Non M

I think Transitions was 'M' in the States, but not over here... or vice versa... which is kind of appropriate for the book! I enjoyed The Steep Approach to Garbadale, published a few years back, the first 'non M' I'd read in a while.

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Got a BlackBerry? It may be telling your friends when you watch pr0n

Dave 126
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Dawson Bros did this, a Social Networking / Grumble Site crossover spoof:

'Jizzedin'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4FVFOekln4

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Obama seeks $100m to unlock your BRAIN's secrets

Dave 126
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Re: *Actual* use for this project will be

I only drink it when I have the shits in foreign countries.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's always easy...

I would recommend reading this transcript to a lecture given by Mike Lazaridis, a co-founder of RIM, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/mike-lazaridis----the-power-of-ideas/4053180

An excerpt:

"Over 90% of the time on the venture capitalist model you'd be losing your bet. But a few percent of the time you'd be making breakthroughs, because that's the other thing trailblazers do, they discover things that are utterly new. We need a system for scientific research that allows researchers to get lost exploring, maybe even encourage them to get lost exploring, because you know what? It's worth it. It's the path to breakthroughs. That is the kind of science that will give us the next generation of truly fundamental breakthroughs, things on the order of Maxwell's unification of electricity and magnetism, or Einstein's notion of space-time, or quantum mechanics.

"I'm talking about physics because physics is my passion, but of course we need breakthroughs in every major scientific area. And the impact of breakthroughs? History has taught us that it's impossible to say, even the discoverers can't say it. Brattain, Shockley and Bardeen came up with the transistor while trying to figure out how quantum mechanics worked in solids. They figured their new invention would probably be important to, say, the hearing aid industry. They had no idea what their discoveries would mean to the world."

And he is putting his own money into it.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Jump-start a sagging economy"

>Not sure how researching brains will help the economy, create new jobs, and "make the best products". Just saying.

I think a suitable test subject has just identified themselves. Oh wait, my mistake: they haven't because they posted as AC.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's actually a very inventive backronym

'Stuff Happening In Technology' is as reasonable a name as any other for an IT news site (and is recursive too, if one uses a common colloquialism), except people mistake it for an offshoot of Ars [Technica].

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Card skimmers targeting more than ATMs, says EU

Dave 126
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Re: Funny Stuff

>From the very inception of the "Pin Code" we have been laughing at how insecure this system is.

That's all well and good, but the risk has to be compared to the alternatives. I haven't done the sums on the risk of losing money through card fraud versus the risk of losing money through losing your wallet, or having a £20 slip from your pocket.

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Steve Jobs to supervise iPhone 6 FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

Dave 126
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Re: 'Poll' position

>Will we shortly be told that Jobs' birth was heralded by a double rainbow and a shooting star in the sky? And that he scored 11 holes-in-one during his first and only round of golf?

Kim Jong Un is becoming the new Chuck Norris...

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Playboy submits to Apple with nudity-free 'Pornography 2.0' app

Dave 126
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Re: Heh.....

>"Unporn"

"Tried to de-stimulate him with a dog carcass"

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_mOf4kJ7dE Chris Morris' Blue Jam.

NSFW

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Dave 126
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>If Apple allowed other app stores, then that is fine, but as its a locked down ecosystem, it is pure censorship...If Apple allowed other app stores, then that is fine, but as its a locked down ecosystem, it is pure censorship...

Er, the thing has a web browser, y'know. You might want to reserve that phrase for when iDevices only connect to a limited number of websites on an Apple whitelist. Another solution for you would be to transfer a load of pictures from your computer to the iDevice- and saving your data allowance, too. Unlike news and emails, it matters not if the playmate picture is a month old (the picture, not the playmate).

If the owner has the know-how, they can 'jailbreak' the iDevice and use the Cydia app store. If they don't have the know-how, then maybe it isn't the worst thing that the device limits what the user can do to it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Shel Silverstein used to write stories for Playboy

I knew they used to publish a lot of stories. The following list of writers published in Playboy between 1960 and 1990 is from Wikipedia, but it appears realistic enough:

Saul Bellow, Sean O'Faolain, John Updike, James Dickey, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, Michael Crichton, John LeCarre, Irwin Shaw, Jean Shepherd, Arthur Koestler, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, John Irving, Anne Sexton, Nadine Gordimer, Kurt Vonnegut and J. P. Donleavy, as well as poetry by Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

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Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

Dave 126
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Re: Gapless = correct

Gapless Playback - a need shared by classical music, Pink Floyd albums and dance music mixes.

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