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* Posts by Dave 126

3895 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Microsoft Surface Pro launch: It's easy to sell out of sod all stock

Dave 126
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Re: This is a standard tactic...

>...used by Apple, Google, Nintendo et al. Deliberately under supply, then loads of clueless rags will run stories like "ZOMG! Surface Pro sold out!"

You have to think VERY carefully before spending a shed-load of money on extra production lines for what may prove be a short-lived spike in demand (or indeed a product flop)- you would be spending tens of millions of pounds just to get a few extra sales in the first month of release, sales you might get anyway.

The ideal situation from a manufacturing engineer's perspective would be one production line working at a steady rate all year round. In defence of Nintendo, they do have a seasonal spike prior to Christmas.

I'm not saying that these companies are upset by the free publicity, but it is grounded in manufacturing reality.

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Dave 126
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Re: No desirable 128GB versions and too many 64GB ones

>You have to type the name of your app into a search box

That wouldn't work in Linux... I want a text editor, so I will type 'kate'*. Nothing simpler.

'Kate'... it's short for Bob. Gedit?

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Apple said to develop curved glass iWatch with Foxconn

Dave 126
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Re: iWatch or iPhone ?

I can't agree with the conclusion of that linked article ["the iWatch is the next iPhone"] because of the battery issue- a watch is too small for a decent sized battery, and it isn't convenient to charge.

Apple thought it better to omit 3G from the first iPhone because they didn't want the battery life to be a complete joke.

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Dave 126
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Re: A watch to make calls through your phone? How i-nnovative

>Of course with an iWatch, you'll have to charge it too

Since we're talking of hypotheticals at this stage, don't narrow your thinking so!

It depends on how much power it requires to do what it does. A few weeks back on the Reg, we had Zigbee light switches that took all the power they needed from the user throwing the switch, by means of piezo crystals. If that is too simplistic, then Apple have patents on certain aspects of wireless charging (namely a mechanism that prioritises which devices on your desk are charged first).

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Dave 126
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Swatch tried introducing 'internet time' many years ago, subdividing the rotation of the earth into 'beats'. It didn't take off. But then, Swatch had a fairly normal-looking (by Swatch standards) watch with pager back in '94.

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Review: HP Spectre XT TouchSmart

Dave 126
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And dolphins 'copied' sharks? Mimicry isn't the mechanism.

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Dave 126
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Re: The marketers released pictures without shots of the OS

And if someone uses the machine to watch movies, they really don't give a flying fornication about what OS it uses- though reliable Flash hardware acceleration and clients for popular movie streaming services might help.`

Stop abusing the Boffin icon, Eadon - you've not convinced anybody you're qualified to use it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Screen res

>1080 is not enough when we have tablets at far better resolutions.

It would be nice to be able to use these high-res tablets as dumb monitors.

>Meanwhile how about an Android dongler for yer tv?

A mate got one the other day, sits inline the HDMI cable, haven't had in-depth feedback, but he seems happy enough with it. However, a £25 gadget will give 1080 media playback. If you need to browse the web in your living room, then maybe a tablet or second-hand Thinkpad are better options for your £75, so your OH can continue watching the TV.

Generally speaking, set-top boxes can do Youtube, Netflicks and iPlayer, and Android devices with HDMI-out and a Flash capable browser can do the more <cough> esoteric streaming sites.

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Dave 126
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I know you work with daftly high res images, so I'd assumed you'd want a higher res screen than this offers.

Down the line we can look forward to more things like this, for when you return to the desk: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-graphics-thunderbolt,3263-8.html

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Dave 126
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Re: HP website claims it has gigabit ethernet....

Its not a good idea (and is unnecessary) for all of your USB ports to be USB 3.0 - it can cause you headaches if you want to install a different OS. Can't speak for Linux, but Win 7 doesn't like it. The installer will run from a USB 3.0-connected DVD drive, but once it wants to copy across files it starts asking for a driver disk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Did you really just say

>Shipping any pc in 2013 that does not have decent GPU is unforgivable.

It is decent enough for most users- check the reviews and benchmarks. It isn't top-notch, but it is decent enough for most games at medium settings, very good at media transcoding, and will happily output 1080 video across a couple of monitors, so really it is only the serious gamers, CAD and CUDA users who will want more. Generally speaking, they are aware of what their needs are and will buy accordingly.

This isn't a machine I would buy, but don't judge it for not being a gaming laptop or mobile workstation. Peoples usage varies.

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Dave 126
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Re: Numerical keypad

>I wonder- has any laptop ever tried placed the numeric below the alpha keys and to to the right of the touchpad?

Someone downvoted a question... okaay. I did make a grammatical mistake, but a comment along the lines of "That's a stupid idea because: ..." would be more useful than a downvote.

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Dave 126
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Re: Numerical keypad

I wonder- has any laptop ever tried placed the numeric below the alpha keys and to to the right of the touchpad? With the exception of some Lenovo laptops that put a Wacom digitiser there, that space is not usually used.

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Men's rights activists: Symantec branded us a 'hate group'

Dave 126
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Re: Not the only filtering offender

Only if you take care of personal hygiene and are lucky.

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Dead Steve Jobs 'made Tim Cook sue Samsung' from beyond the grave

Dave 126
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Re: The problem Apple has now.....

Salvidor Dali doing design?

It worked for Chupa Chups:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupa_Chups#Marketing

(One of the craziest films never filmed was to be an adaptation of Dune, with Salvador Dali as the Emporer, music by Pink Floyd, concept art by H.R Giger and spacecraft by Chris Foss, cast including Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and David Carradine)

I think goths would like a Giger-designed phone (would work in reinforced resin materials), I wouldn't mind a Chris Foss designed phone- though to be honest some HTCs begin to resemble his work once the anodising has chipped off them.

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Dave 126
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Re: the pair of firms would be better off burying the blunt hatchet

>More proof that Jobs was using a publicly owned company contrary to the shareholders interests.

I think that any proof would be better expressed in numbers. Profit? Apple doing okay. Share value? Very difficult to prove that it isn't as high as it could have been, or to prove causation after it has been filtered through the market- which is based on risks, projections, analysis and gut-feelings.

If you bought your shares in Apple when they were still on the ascendant, you should be happy. If you bought them afterwards, without looking at the company and Mr Jobs, tough titty. The whole basis of shares gaining value is that you are being rewarded for assuming some risk.

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The Register Guide to Windows Server 2012

Dave 126
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FFS Eadon, the documenting of Linux server solutions is catered for by the Linux community. If you found some good concise guides, and simply posted the links here with a brief explanation - no one would complain and you wouldn't look like such a spanner. You might even bring someone around to your point of view. .

I would note that the documentation for many Linux applications is unwelcoming for the casual user; we don't always want a sodding Wiki outlining the latest version changes, we want to know what it is and how to use it.

The opposing attitudes of "I'm better because I use Linux" and "Everyone should use Linux" don't sit well together. You'd do well to resolve this conflict in your head before commenting here, because you are detrimental to the OSS movement.

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Big Windows updates may ship this summer – and every summer

Dave 126
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Re: Look at our new v9...I mean v10 model!

@Eadon

I was talking about barriers to mainstream desktop adoption and you reply with:

"Kids these days grow up with video games and are fairly computer literate, and they will appreciate the choice of UI's that Linux provide. "

I was not talking about the kids. India and Iran have a high proportion of people under 25 years of age, but we do not. I'm youngish and am happy to use what is presented to me - I've used Acorns, Spectrums, Macs, UNIX, DOS, Windows, UNIX, LINUX, Ataris, Amingas, OS/2 and numerous proprietary OSs. I am adaptable but I do not represent the mass market (Clue: I read the Register) - most users are not like me. Nor you.

>I don't see a downside of having competing windows managers any more than I see a downside to having a >choice of cars to buy or a choice of phones or cameras to buy.

No downside, but I know people who only buy Lumix cameras because they are used to how they work. Even if a competing Canon camera were better, they would still buy a Lumix. I wasn't saying there was a downside to choice, I was just asking you how the novice user knows which UI is best for them -uninformed choice is no choice at all. Generally speaking, people in doubt stick to what they know.

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Dave 126
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Re: Look at our new v9...I mean v10 model!

@ Eadon

You deserve credit for putting some thought and justification into your argument (instead of simply telling jaded fellow commentards that an OS they might use regularly is just plain pants). Keep it up!

Here's the issue: How does someone with basic computer knowledge know which mouse-and-keyboard Linux UI might be best for them? Experienced users may have had experience of different flavours, and might keep abreast of developments, but what about the newcomer? Do they rely solely on the recommendation of a friend? How can you communicate the options simply to those you wish to attract to Linux? If they start using 'My First Linux GUI', how do you later manage the transition to something more advanced? Is being simple mutually exclusive to being powerful? Could any conventions the user learns on their Android phone translate usefully to a Linux Desktop GUI (unlikely)? Could it fall into the trap of trying to be familiar to former Windows users?

Please don't take these question as knocking you GUIs of choice, but that thinking about possible answers might further your aims. There are some features in Windows that appear to be answers to those sort of questions, yet annoy the hell out of people (Clippy, "Are you trying to...?" dialogues, split identity control panel, many more)

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Dave 126
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Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Hyper Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix... I did start wondering why they just didn't make 'III' already, and even started doubting if there had ever been a 'Street Fighter I'.

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Microsoft needs to keep visible under waves of Blue

Dave 126
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Features....

So previous Windows version have been reactions to evolving security concerns, or to support or take advantage of newer and more powerful hardware. So far, the main argument for getting Win 8 over 7 seems to be: "Ignore Metro, and you have native USB 3 support and a Storage Spaces LVM that might be handy". Hmm useful maybe, but not exciting... if I had the hardware I might pay £10 for it, maybe.

-Multiple Desktops would be nice.

-A Taskbar that doesn't pop up just because some updater wants attention (obscuring the notification panel of whatever application I am using)

- An LVM that does what OSX's Fusion or ZFS does (use a combination of HDD and SSD intelligently for system and regularly used files, invisibly to the user). MS's Storage Spaces can't be used on boot drives.

- A re-design of the built-in back up utility. At the moment, it isn't made clear whether subsequent disk images overwrite older ones, or add to them. Running it without performing a virus check first can cause it fail part way through. OSX's Time Machine does it well.

-MS have had an alternative hardware-specific GUI in Windows for years- called Media Centre. It knew its place. The best place for Metro would be on a second screen. Maybe things like the LeapMotion controller will become popular enough down the line to merit native OS support.

-Computer to use phone or tablet as second display/HID

-A system-wide 'current project' selector, that changes default application's default open/save locations, and their 'recent documents lists. This could be achieved through the use of multiple desktops - so one desktop could be designated "Client: Mr Blog's Bakery" and another "My accounts". A spreadsheet would change its behaviour depending on which desktop it was opened in. There could also be a 'Play' desktop, with short-cuts for games and videos, and which has its own screen brightness setting and audio settings. "We are all several users"

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LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

Dave 126
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Re: Kyocera Refalo.

I've just had a look- I like!

I guess the closest modern attempt would have been MS's Courier- allegedly killed by Bill Gates himself. A shame, because it looked useful, and wasn't straddling the tablet/ultrabook camps.

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Huge rock-hard marble erection shocks Japanese kiddies

Dave 126
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Re: Oh look...

According to his interview on Radio 4 about a year back, Alice Cooper was raised a Christian, but he said he fell off it. He said that surviving rock n roll stardom was far harder than achieving it, and that booze came close to killing him, describing himself as having 'gone full circle' with respect to his faith. I dunno, the young Goth lady who normally keeps me abreast of such things has left my local pub for university.

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Dave 126
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Re: David's dangler

>"Sex was invented by the ancient Greeks, but it took the Romans to introduce it to women".

>Anything the Romans did was a Greek copy. So whatever they did, the Greeks would have to have done it first.

It was a joke, and only mildly homophobic (though many of gay men I know won't complain since they get so much fun out of poking fun at the exploits of us heterosexuals). Of course Greek men and women got together to make more Greeks.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's just a penis.

>Kryten: But it's hideous! That's the best design they could come up with!?

Q: What is the knob on the end for?

German scientist: It is to give more pleasure to the man!

French Scientist: It is to give more pleasure to the woman!

British Scientist: It is to stop your hand falling off the end!

Modern fluid modelling suggests the knob on the end has evolved to act as a plunger, removing what might have been left there by a previous gentleman- all the better to promote your genetic material. More civilised than easting his offspring after the fact, as lions have been known to.

Anyway, here's a Monty Python song, NSFW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRPFUYUUdQ

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Dave 126
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Re: This doesn't go far enough!

>Animals and humans should have them removed as well!

I've said it before- if some fundamentalist cult wants to travel the world putting trousers on animals to preserve their modesty, then I would like to watch them try. From a safe distance.

(I used to know a fly-poster who was employed by Levi's to attach jeans to public statues... of course the jeans undid down the legs to allow them to be attached to figures whose feet were attached to the base.)

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Dave 126
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Re: Simpsons did it

Iain Banks did it too- one of his teenage characters wears a t-shirt with a print of David on it. Her father objects, so she sews a felt fig-leaf on to it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Oh look...

Alice Cooper is now a Christian, like his father before him, but during their boozing heyday his band used to send flowers to Mary Whitehouse in gratitude- money couldn't buy the kind of publicity she provided them.

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Dave 126
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Re: David's dangler

>oh my...I'm not even sure I want to know how you know this [The ancient Greeks had an aesthetic style that favoured small penises with a long prepuce.]

History of Art and the Classics used to be considered part of a rounded (some would say elitist) education:

"Sex was invented by the ancient Greeks, but it took the Romans to introduce it to women".

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Bioshock Infinite, Devil May Cry, SimCity

Dave 126
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Re: I miss space combat.

There might also be 'Destiny', the upcoming game from Bungie. Details are scant, but it might include some space combat and exploration, as well as "shooting aliens in the face". They have posted a job advert for a 'economy designer'. One gets the impression that they too have grown bored of pure FPS games.

One level of Halo: Reach (the last Halo title to be developed by Bungie) one level was space combat- though X-Wing it wasn't.

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Dave 126
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Thumb Up

I like this monthly round up of games format, as opposed to three pages about a single game. It is good you have given us a general heads-up of interesting titles- which if they interest us can be more deeply researched elsewhere.

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Dave 126
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Re: Simcopter reports heavy internet trafic!

Reticulating splines!

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Björk gives up trying to Kickstart Android music app

Dave 126
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Re: So in summary

>Apple say alot of things about Android, and 99% of the time it's utter bullshit. They know that by claiming that >Android lacks low latency audio (without any evidence to back it up),

Apple don't say that- Android users do (and demonstrate it), as do Google Android engineers. Horse's mouth. A Google Android engineer: "Latency is a big problem. We’re working at, hopefully we hope to be able to do something about it with ICS." It was a Google who said that on a Galaxy Nexus they had 100ms on ICS and 10ms on JB.

- http://www.rossbencina.com/code/dave-sparks-on-android-audio-latency-at-google-io-2011

I've posted links to back up observations, but you don't. Yet you complain about a lack of evidence. Oh well.

>they [Apple] have created a nice little excuse for developers to thus use when someone asks for an Android version.

Your theory gives Apple an excuse, but it is the developers who haven't developed the apps for Android- you haven't explained their motive for not doing so. In the link in an above post is an audio software developer stating their reasons for concentrating on iDevices first: basically, it comes down to latency, and also the smaller number of hardware variations amongst iDevices over Android devices. Sounds plausible, no?

>Android latency varies by device, Jellybean devices usually very good.

I said Jelly Bean was good in my original comment- and that 3rd party developers are actively looking at it now. But most Android devices aren't JB yet. Other enhancements for JB include USB audio device support and multichannel audio (including via HDMI). Google are also looking at imposing strict maximum latency requirements for third-party vendors at some time in the future.

I'm not for a moment saying that iPhones are the best phones for everyone, I'm just describing the evolving situation. I own an Android phone, and naturally want it to get better over time.

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Dave 126
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Re: So in summary

>Commercial audio creation apps on iOS? Seriously who would be using a phone to create music?

Lots of people... smart phones are less phones, and more general-purpose computers. The iPad is commonly used as a control surface for a Mac, for virtual mixing desks and the like, and will happily act as a synth for any MIDI keyboard attached to it- handy for recording melodies on the road. True, you wouldn't want to pass your audio stream through an iDevice- but then you wouldn't through any kit that wasn't designed for it- hence pricey external soundcards with branded ADCs. This should give you a flavour:

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2011/02/how-to-use-midi-to-make-an-ipad-more-musically-connected-productive-video-resources/

This guy routinely uses the G sensors in an arm-mounted iPhone in live performances- the rest of the kit he has built/modified himself and has open-sourced it on Thingiverse: http://onyx-ashanti.com/

Then you have all the acoustic musicians who use the iPad in place of sheet music http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/musicians-embrace-the-ipad-leave-sheet-music-at-home/243726/ , and use phones as guitar tuners and sound recorders (with plug-in microphones and ADCs).

I'm sure you don't need reminding that technology (and drugs) can change the sound of music, from Bach's clavier, through Wheatsone's concertina to Bo Diddely's solid-bodied electric guitar and the 808 and DX7 in the eighties.

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Dave 126
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Re: So in summary

Most Android devices can't handle audio fast enough - why do think that most of the commercial audio creation apps are on iOS? (See link above link)

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Dave 126
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The iPhone has always had a relatively audio low latency around the 8-12ms mark (and built-in wireless MIDI), but Android hasn't always been great for virtual musical instruments:

On the Samsung Galaxy Nexus handset – a device over which Google has more control – they've already improved latency from 100 ms in “Ice Cream Sandwich” (4.0) to “about 12 ms” in “Jelly Bean” (4.1), and want to go oven better. 12 ms is usable; sub-10 ms could really attract sound developers to the platform.

-http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/07/android-high-performance-audio-in-4-1-and-what-it-means-plus-libpd-goodness-today/

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Psst, wanna block nuisance calls? BT'll do it... for a price

Dave 126
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Re: the new bane of my life

>is the message that says 'this is an important message about <blah> press 1 to call us back, or 9 to be removed from the database'

>How on earth can I stop these?

Partial solution on Android (I know this article is about landlines)- add the incoming number to your phonebook, eg "Zz Spam", then view contact, then edit, then check the box marked "send straight to voicemail"

Oh, this would be a nice feature on smartphones- having a voicemail feature built into machine - messages are recorded locally on the device (good for when you can't answer your phone in meetings, on silent, driving etc- obviously traditional voicemail is still required for the battery is flat or you have no signal).

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Dave 126
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Re: Useless really

>Calls from behind NHS switchboards are given as 'withheld', and due to data protection, these callers often won't leave any useful information on answerphones.

It is my understanding that public services have to ring you back on a non-withheld number. My friend has paid BT a quid a month for years to block all unknown numbers to his landline. I asked him about doctors etc, and he said they were required to call him from an identifiable number.

I answered an 'unknown number' the other Saturday evening on my mobile, turned out to be a mate requiring a lift home from a police station in the next city (after being released without charge)- his mobile had no credit since he had neglected to pick up his cash card when they arrested him from his house. He had tried his brother and his closer mates, but not one had picked up his call - no doubt expecting it to be a sales call.

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Dave 126
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Re: AAISP Honeypot

In "Greetings! Carbon-based Bipeds!" (collected essays), Arthur C Clarke outlined his plan to hack his fax machine so as to cost the senders of spam faxes money: IIRC, it amounted to manipulating packets so the sending machine would keep trying to send spam in vain.

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Adobe muzzles TWO zero-day wild things with emergency Flash patches

Dave 126
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Re: What The Holy FUCK ???

>Why on earth do they need a movie inside a text document ???

The whole idea is that a document doesn't need to know what kind of content is embedded in it- just to who to call to open it. This embedded document could be a spreadsheet, an image or a video- the host document doesn't know or care. This is an old concept.

That's the idea- obviously things don't always go smoothly when translated into practice.

Maybe your question should be- "how can any content inside a document be allowed to be damaging to the system"? but the line gets a bit fuzzy.... like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, powerful tools can be dangerous.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Critical block for active Win and MAC attacks"

Mac = a brand of personal computer

MAC = Media Access Control [address]

Careful with that CapsLock, Eugene!

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Dave 126
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Re: Surprise

Go away Eadon.

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'Depression-era grandma' Apple responds to bolshy investor

Dave 126
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Re: Einhorn's Ulterior Motif

>When you buy stock in a company, you must agree with the way the company is managed

Unless you are buying stock to influence how the company is managed. Still, Apple, seemed to be okay before he invested in them.

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Dave 126
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It is inevitable that fortunes rise and fall... but if there is a future technology that Apple can harness for future profits (as they have shown they can in the past), they might have to ride out a few years on their savings to get there. It is akin to what biologists call a small valley in the fitness landscape, before ascending the next peak. It is better to make your moves from a position of strength- Apple waited until screen, battery and CPU tech had advanced to the point that a mass-market tablet was practical, whereas MS had jumped the gun with XP Tablet Edition some years before (though it always had some niche users- my car mechanic has used touch-screen Windows PCs for years, an increasing part of his job is interrogating the car's systems. )

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Dave 126
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From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21377915

Mr Einhorn has a history of activism.

In 2011, he urged Microsoft Corp to get rid of its chief executive Steve Ballmer, accusing him of being "stuck in the past".

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Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus phones to arrive in February

Dave 126
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Re: great for linux geeks...

Canonical were talking about business deployments (I know of a couple of businesses that issue Linux laptops or bootable Linux USB sticks for the purposes of connecting to the company network) as being what they had in mind for this.

App support? Well, it runs anything in the repositories that runs on ARM, doesn't it? You won't be trying to use Libre Office via the touchscreen, but with traditional mouse and keyboard. Curious that no Reg article mentions whether or not Android apps can run under Unbuntu- but if they can be made to run on BlackBerry's new OS, I would have thought Ubuntu could be persuaded. Thoughts?

My understanding is limited, but can't the really geeky users will just replace Unity with their preferred DE? It seems strange that as an outside, one just hears lots of noise about Linux GUIs, just as there is about Win8 Metro... anyone even moderately geeky will just install work-arounds, no?

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Dave 126
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Re: Expansion

>serious ear bashing from the other half/kids if they cant watch TV because Dad needs to get on with a bit of work

Quite a few households boast a second TV in the kitchen or bedroom. The amazement shown by the family in Back to the Future when Marty McFly lets slip he has two TVs is a bit 1955.

But yeah- you've either got to dig some keyboard out of a drawer, or carry one around with you. Neither ideal.

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Dave 126
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Re: This would be good

>The Ubuntuphone does... just plug in the appropriate peripherals and voilà - a real computer!

All good until you have an incoming call, then realise that you haven't got your headset to hand...

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Dave 126
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Re: This would be good

>Do many other smartphones have HDMI and docks?

A fair few have microHDMI and USB OTG- which can be used for mice, keyboards and memory sticks. The LG-built Nexus 4 does not support USB OTG (though early promotional materials suggest Google thought it would) so this might explain Canonical's decision to use an older Nexus handset.

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Paper computers: Not mere pulp fiction

Dave 126
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> I assume that you are the type of idiot the advertisers (and Apple) love.

I seem to remember phones being on 12 month contracts. It was the rise of the smartphone, spearheaded by the iPhone, that has lead to 18 and 14 month contracts being the norm.

It's FUD anyway- biodegradable in the ground != short-lived in your pocket.

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