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* Posts by Dave 126

4322 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

I'd check out side by side photo comparisons before agreeing with AC... there have been a few reviews that suggest the camera isn't as great as the specs suggest, but maybe the reviewer missed a trick. Who knows.

That said, I'd agree with AC in that I try avoid flash in most circumstances, and that if I have to use it I try to bounce it or diffuse it somehow.

Hmm, just found some photos taken on my Xperia P on Friday night in a dark pub... the images are grainy, but recognisable - the camera seems to have made the most of its limited capabilities.

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Dave 126
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Re: After so many many SE phones...

>Touchslab phones are the norm now. Where's the innovation?

That's a charge that has been levelled at all the phone makers... you could read Sony's inclusion of waterproofing as an acceptance of this, that phones have matured and should be refined to be durable. I mean, the only wristwatches that aren't waterproof these days seem to be ludicrously expensive status symbols.

I note that Sony's tablet is waterproof, as well. Only on Sunday I went to a cafe, and the lass behind the counter had an iPad on a cook-book stand, wrapped in clingfilm. I don't know if she was using it for recipes, stock control or simply playing music... but it seems there is a demand in the real world for something that doesn't mind a bit of gunk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

Curious... Esskay appears to be a sensible human being, so it must just be a matter of taste and individual user needs: I'd personally consider waterproofing to be a better feature than a xenon flash.

The sensible way to implement better flash on phones would be to make the flash a separate unit, remotely triggered by the phone camera - not only would a xenon flash be available to all those who want it, but it would also be more flattering to the subjects by reducing the 'albino rabbit in headlights' look.

Right, I'm off to see if there is anything approaching an Android feature request list ...

: D

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Dave 126
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Re: watching video is surely one of the reasons you’d buy an Xperia Z

I'm absolutely with you on wanting to bash sodcasters about the noggin, but I do regularly use the speaker on my phone when I am out of earshot of other people. Not for music, but for spoken-word podcasts it's fine.

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Dave 126
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Off the top of my head..

Challenge accepted:

Last year: The U (cheap), the P (less Cheap), S (higher end), T (big screen), TX (big screen, swappable battery), Go (like the U but waterproof), this year the Z. I may have missed a few, though.

Sorry, I only know this cos I've been searching the web for when Jelly Bean wobbles towards my handset (end of this month, apparently... )

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4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

Dave 126
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Re: Is there any point at the consumer end?

>And there is the Hollywood crap "Ultraviolet" for more compressed to hell junk.

I thought Ultra-violet was an additional service to people who had bought DVDs or Blu-rays and also want to watch the content on a mobile device or have it streamed to their mate's house (both situations where the content would probably have to be compressed anyway). I.e studios are trying to give average consumers something approaching the convenience enjoyed by those folk who immediately rip their discs to their own home server (because if the studios didn't make this effort, more people would educate themselves about ripping and removing DRM from discs for the sake of convenience).

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Dave 126
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Re: Back-of-napking calculations

>BTW: Can someone explain to me why the significance of the number changed?

Marketing. '4K' is snappier than 'really really high definition and we mean it this time', and it is around 4x the number of pixels that today's 'Full HD' boasts. Also, calling it '2K' sounds so turn-of-the-century.

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Drilling into 3D printing: Gimmick, revolution or spooks' nightmare?

Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

I've heard of people printing in wax.

These samples look good:

http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/520-very-high-detail-printing-also-in-wax.html

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Dave 126
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>But surely the fittings on that small plastic door latch are proprietary IPR

Good point, don''t know how it would work here. In the automotive industry, car manufacturers are not allowed to invalidate car guarantees because quality 3rd party parts have been used during servicing.

I wouldn't be ordering a specific Whirlpool part, but rather a piece of material of "X by Y by Zmm, with two 9mm holes, and an angled boss of 18 mm by .... " (well, I'd be submitting a CAD drawing, or maybe the bureau can do something with photos using clever software).

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

I could see Games Workshop being challenged by this technology... If people enjoy building their own armies and painting the miniatures, they would enjoy designing their own characters online as well before having them printed and posted out.

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Dave 126
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How many people do you know currently own a Dremmel rotary tool? Like a dentists drill, it can be used for polishing, engraving, cutting and sanding. It is useful, and costs around £80. I know of two people who own one- a professional sculptor and and a hobbyist jewellery maker. I can't see the market for consumer 3D printers being much bigger.

One area where 3D printing bureaus can make a dent is in undercutting replacement parts. My Whirlpool tumble-dryer had a small plastic door latch that melted, and their website very efficiently charged me £18 for a replacement.

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Dave 126
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Re: I want to like the BBC

It's a competition thing. Take the BBC's radio plays, for example: If the BBC made their entire back catalogue available on demand, it would make life hard for commercial rivals, such as those producing audio books.

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Dave 126
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Re: Boo hoo hoo

Have you considered working as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph?

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Dave 126
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A few years back a report said that the average fine handed out to TV Licence Fee dodgers was lower than the actual licence.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Dave 126
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Re: Clarify

It was released in 2011, but the user had to go seek it out themselves. The news today is that it has been added to the Windows automatic updates.

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SimCity owners get free game, EA will get A NEW CEO

Dave 126
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Re: Oh.. I see..

Sounds like a situation in which peer-to-peer distribution would make sense.

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Nvidia, Continuum team up to sling Python at GPU coprocessors

Dave 126
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The source of those figures:

>I call balls

From the CodeEval website, re those figures:

"Statistics and Figures are based on a sample size of over 100,000+ challenges processed from Employers who have run challenges on CodeEval in 2012.

About CodeEval

CodeEval is a community of developers interested in solving programming challenges. Community members can compete with each other, challenge their friends and build out their profiles to showcase to friends and employers too."

So it isn't necessarily the worlds most popular coding language, just the most popular amongst competitors on this website.

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Build a BONKERS gaming PC

Dave 126
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Re: Monitor?

Or three 23" monitors, depending upon the type of game. If you are going to buy one, with a view to adding to it later, consider the thickness of the bezel.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cores

Yeah, a certain component benchmarking and testing website suggests that beyond a certain point, many modern games just don't tax more powerful CPUs too much, and the money be better spent elsewhere.

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Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

Dave 126
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Re: Re Pasties

Hmmm, okay, 'snack' wasn't the best choice of word- 'mobile meal' is more appropriate. At the risk of enraging some readers, I pick up about twenty pasties from Barnstaple every time I pass the town, for people in my local further North. As a bonus, it pisses off my Cornish mates. Though in Devon, this bakery in Barnstaple was voted as producing the best pasties in the South West.

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Dave 126
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I can't remember whether Bill Bryson was commenting on British place name pronunciations, or English pub names, but he did note "at the very least, it should confuse foreigners".

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Dave 126
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Oh dear... before criticising MS's efforts, TheRegister should at least post its own guide to Living in Blighty, so we readers can compare efforts (or rather, just have a giggle).

Pastie:

Eng.: n pastry based snack, often containing beef. Best sampled from a bakery rather than from a gas station.

US: n device for covering a stripper's nipple.

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Windows Phone 8 support to end in 2014

Dave 126
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Re: Backwards Compatibility

>Maybe they will take a page out of the Android book in that if you want to upgrade you have to buy new.

That was more the case when Android hardware was advancing more each year, as was Android itself. Currently released hardware, even at the mid-range, is capable enough to hold its own for a few versions... and most manufacturers are getting better at releasing Android updates- perhaps because of the negative reaction they have received in the past for 'abandoning' models.

Similarly, MS might have noticed the negative reaction that they received for not making Win 8 Phone work on WinPho 7 handsets and may avoid making the same mistake. Also, Win 8 hardware can probably handle whatever 'Win Pho 9' might demand of it, at least for core functions.

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Touch screens and greasy mitts: All you need is glove

Dave 126
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My apologies, Mr Dabbs.... and I posted from a laptop so I can't blame my error on a touch-screen keyboard.

Re things like the Leap, I'm looking on with interest to see what sort of interfaces people devise. Merely transplanting a 'point and click' interface to it will probably be no more successful than using desktop GUI on a tablet, or using a mouse to control a flight simulator.

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Dave 126
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Will you be getting a Leap Motion controller, Mr Dabs?

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Trip the fight fantastic

Dave 126
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Re: Square Syndrome

I noted the film version was on iPlayer a couple of days ago... the only scene I remember from watching it years ago was the unexpected appearance of Chris Barrie ( 'Rimmer' from Red Dwarf ).

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Dave 126
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Re: fah

But playing with other people in a comfy lounge can make up for it.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm so glad I didn't buy Colonial Marines.

>Probably best to avoid Vince Wards "Alien 3 : Wooden Monastery Spaceship" script thou.....

Personally, I'd say take a peek at the concept art...

http://www.thescifishow.com/2012/10/blog/the-wooden-wonder-of-alien-3s-lost-world/

Bonkers, but something about the concept art reminds me of Giger's paintings.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm so glad I didn't buy Colonial Marines.

If you want a good sequel to Aliens, then look online for the 'William Gibson Alien 3 script'. A few elements were plucked out and used in Alien 3 (barcode tattoos), Alien: Resurection (mercenaries/rebels) and Prometheus (the Alien 'DNA'), but really, its mainly Corporal Hicks kicking Alien arse in a massive populated science station. There's even a nod to Silent Running, when Hicks ramps a 4x4 through a biodome.

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Dave 126
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>Key Lime Pie

?

Enough of these desert-based names that Brits have never heard of... Let's have Android Gooseberry Fool, Android Spotted Dick, Android Deep Fried Mars Bar or Android Eton Mess.

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Dave 126
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I do think that the Android licencees could have bashed their heads together ad come up with a decent docking solution, be it for for power, car kits and AV output. Google could have taken a lead- surely they can see that many people choose iDevices for the range of available accessories?

The very fact that different android manufacturers differ amongst themselves on their implementation of headset remote controls is irritating. Most quality makers of headphones offer iPhone compatible versions; the selection for Android phones is thinner on the ground.

Jelly Bean introduces to Android some more tricks for outputting audio through uUSB, but its not the best connector, and not suited for just dropping into a cradle like Nokias of old.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's just too damn big!

Then buy an iPhone. Or an Xperia P, or Galaxy S III Mini, or something else.

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Dave 126
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Re: I would like

Have you tried machining polycarbonate? Try it on an old CD. It's better moulded, or pressed (which can be done at room temperature for some forms).

Multicore chips are an effort to save battery power - the idea is that fewer / efficient cores are used for keeping the phone ticking over, and the other cores are only called into action when required.

If you want a solid aluminium, dual core phone with a 4" display, you might consider a Sony Xperia P- and it's not too pricey. Okay, it doesn't have a removeable battery, but i get on quite well with with a little Li-ion USB battery pack I bought from Lidl. It doesn't have a uSD card slot, but it does support USB OTG, so a card reader can be connected (note: the Nexus 4 doesn't offer this facility). The Xperia P doesn't have stock Android, but the Sony customisation isn't too offensive.

Its camera is alright, but nothing special in low light. There isn't really any substitute for size when it comes to low light pictures (bigger sensor, brighter lens), so maybe you want a Nokia Pureview or a dedicated compact camera.

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Dave 126
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Re: What I'd like to see...

I think Moto do a phone with an extra big battery option, and the Sony TX has a swappable battery.

"and the flagship DROID RAZR MAXX HD has the same 3,300mAh battery that was first introduced in the DROID RAZR MAXX" - http://www.phonedog.com/2012/09/10/motorola-s-big-gambit-is-extra-large-batteries-and-it-might-just-work/ September 2012

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Dave 126
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Re: Cupertino, start your photocopiers

I've had an NFC phone for some time now, and have no use for the feature. That said, I was recently doing some work on a house, and thought that being able to embed passive FC tags in the walls, for future identification of water pipes etc would be handy, if the tags were cheap enough.

Now, that IR transmitter on this SG S 4 does seem useful. Strange that it hasn't been featured on more smartphones in recent years, given it was a coveted feature on Casio wristwatches amongst schoolkids in the nineties.

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Dave 126
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Re: whopper

>My rather basic concern is, can this thing actually fit in your trouser pocket ?

What Grant said. Your Pockets May Vary.

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First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING

Dave 126
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Re: Mouse-over..

Manual scrolling with eyeball-triggered screen brightness seems a more subtle and useful way of using the tech... as long as it results in a net battery saving.

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Dave 126
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Re: Where is the innovation?

>My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich!

Depends if you have a model with an overheating (or self-combustible) battery!

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Dave 126
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>So would this leave me unable to watch video, and with the screen auto-scrolling around like a flea on speed?

No, it wouldn't. Turn off the 'feature' in settings, or install a 3rd party media app which doesn't use it. Otherwsie just stick some tape over the sensor.

You'll probably want to install a 3rd party media app anyway, just to extend the codec support.

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Dave 126
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Re: 8 processor core? 8?

8 cores are to save power, since they can be individually turned on only when required. Not all of the cores are the same, some will be optimised for keeping the phone ticking over on standby, some will be for specialist tasks such as decoding video. Anyway, the sooner the phone accomplishes a task, the sooner the user can pop it back into standby and turn off that thirsty screen.

That's the concept. Since many phones today have at least two cores, and the manufacturers are competing on battery life, one assumes there is some truth in it.

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AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

Dave 126
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Re: More adverts, everywhere.

>The funny thing is I had to turn Wifi off otherwise the crap Android phone's battery wouldn't even last the day.

Upgrade to ICS if you can, and you will find 'battery saver mode' that turns off Wifi and background data when the phone is in standby. It certainly solved the major gripe RegHardware had with the Sony Xperia P when they reviewed it with its original Android version.

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Father of Android Andy Rubin steps down for Chrome OS boss

Dave 126
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Re: the red-headed stepchild of desktop operating systems

The image your metaphor bought to mind was of a red headed boy driving a fancy car - the car being a Chromebook Pixel- i.e Ron Howard accosting Homer Simpson on the street.

Anyway:

'Prejudice' (AKA 'Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger') by Tim Minchin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7UGjNKKXH8

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Microsoft unveils even more tempting Kinect offering: Open source

Dave 126
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Re: Trying to catch up with the Leap

Most views from people who have used the Leap I've read are amazed by the accuracy of the technology, but question whether they could use it for long periods of time. I look forward appropriate software and plugins being developed for it.

Anyway, it is a very different beast to the Kinnect- the Kinnect can make real-time scans of rooms, for example, the Leap is better for finger-scale input.

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Dave 126
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I think it depends upon the version - there is an XBOX version, and a PC version. There isn't much difference in hardware, but I believe the PC version is more accurate at nearer distances. The PC version is also more expensive but works with the official SDK (there is a 3rd party open source alternative) whereas last I looked the XBOX version didn't. I don't know if this announcement changes that.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

Dave 126
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Re: Great article

My old man has never got on with his iPod- gets confused by connecting it to a PC- but he loves his Brennan JB7. He puts in a CD (of which he has hundreds) and three minutes later it spits it out, having ripped it to its internal HDD and compared it to its internal database for track titles. It's probably not of interest to Reg readers (some of you would use a RasPi and networked storage, I'm sure) but it really is a well thought out device for its intended market.

He has recently discovered Spotify, but stupidly it only works in 'portrait mode' on his tablet.

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Dave 126
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Re: OK, I want to add

>Arrggh no .. not A.I. I think a kubrick solo project would have been much better, the heavy hand of Spielberg saccharine schmaltz ruined it for me.

That was Aldiss's view of the final result, but Kubrick, who was in awe of the success of E.T, wanted to 'do a Spielberg'.

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Smartphone users prefer LOVELY apps to fiddly mobe websites

Dave 126
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Re: A whopping 85 per cent of smartphone users reckon local apps are better than websites

"They're all twats"

You might very well say that. I couldn't possibly comment.

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Dave 126
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Re: Just say no.

>I fail to see how, after you explicitly remove locally saved data, that it is a failure of the websites that their locally saved data has been removed.

I didn't say it was the fault of the website, just of the website model. If you are to infer anything further, it should be that an option to 'delete all cookies and cache except from websites x, y and z' would be quite nice to have in a browser, but that it would be still be effort to administrate.

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Enormo-display Apple iPhone prototype surfaces

Dave 126
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Re: Type A and B ports

A good number of, but not all, tablets and phones can act as host- 'USB OTG'. You notice that micro USB has 5 pins yet USB A has 4? Shorting two of them together will instruct a compatible device to act as host and read memory cards, USB HDDs and keyboards etc.

Check online for '[your device] USB OTG' before buying a cable. Making one yourself is a good test of your soldering skill and patience, though.

http://usbtips.com/usb-otg-adapter-connects-usb-accessories-to-your-android-device/

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Philips pushes out SDK for multicolour Zigbee LED lights

Dave 126
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Less of a holiday and more doing some work on a house. Still, the food was good, simple and plentiful... have been on a mostly soup diet since returning to Blighty!

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