* Posts by Dave 126

6604 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Dave 126
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Re: First of all, sorry

>Trump's intellect is barely above room temperature, and he has some deep psychological issues to boot.

>> A man who probably thinks a Sarin is a new Dodge midliner..

Here's the thing: Trump evidently spotted something that was overlooked or underestimated by the political theorists, statisticians, mainstream Republicans and much of US press. The editor of the New York Times said as much last week in an interview with the BBC's Media Show - that he, the news editor, and his counterparts in other big city ( New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago) newspapers, were very slow to pick up on a sense of dissatisfaction in many parts of the US.

So, whilst I'm suggesting Trump is shrewd, it does not follow that the simple solutions he has proposed will be the best for anyone once he is in power. Let us just hope that the things he said to get elected were, well, things he just said to get elected. Let us hope, because historically, the people promising simple solutions to complex problems can be dangerous.

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Sega MegaDrive/Genesis lives again, in Brazil!

Dave 126
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Re: Emulation inside

> peripherals like the Sega/Mega CD and 32x won't work.

Are rare beasts indeed compared to the number of Megadrives out there - anyone with them will have had no problem acquiring an original Megadrive to use with them.

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Chinese chap in the clink for trying to swap US Navy FPGAs with fakes to beat export ban

Dave 126
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Re: Not surprised

Apologies for the tangent, but your mention of Polonium reminded me of an advertisement in a 1950's hi-fi magazine I saw recently: Polonium brushes for cleaning your records. I've just had to Google more about them:

https://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/staticeliminator.htm

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Dave 126
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Re: Buy rad-hard from the Russians?

You don't need powerful computers to put stuff in orbit, and I'm not sure the Russians have kept up with the stuff NASA has used for Mars rovers and other probes. The chips on the Curiosity rover, for perspective, are rad-hardened versions of what you'd find in an Apple Mac G3 in the late nineties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hardening#Examples_of_rad-hard_computers

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Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Dave 126
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Re: How on earth

SD cards are still used a lot. However, compact cameras aren't used as much as they used to be, because mobile cameras have improved greatly over the years. Even though the discrete compact cameras themselves have improved, the difference isn't great enough for the casual user to carry two devices around most of the time.

At the the high end, DSLRs and the like have gained faster burst speeds, 4K video, and are generally more data intensive. This means that get best performance, CompactFlash or XQD cards must be used.

SD cards are still the popular option, but they are being squeezed a little from both ends.

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Dave 126
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Re: What a joke

No one will want to call it Lightning because it isn't Lightning. Nor is 'LightPeak' a suitable name for it.

It is USB-C. USB-C is a standard which covers the physical connector, power handling, and communicating which 'alternate mode' (i.e Thunderbolt, HDMI, DisplayPort, MHL etc) it is to use. Thunderbolt, an Intel technology, is a way of having PCIe kit outside of your laptop, and reduces I/O bottlenecks for some workflows. Not all USB-C kit and cables are capable of all the features and power delivery that USB-C can support.

Like you, I don't immediately need the kit. However, the people wanting 32GB RAM and very fast SSDs are often the same folk who want to get data in and out of their machine very quickly. I'm more CAD than video, so don't need to shunt video around - but the idea of external GPUs is enticing for me.

It's also worth noting that a large, fast SSD inside a machine with slow I/O is harder to keep backed up.

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Dave 126
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Very cheap USB-C male> USB A female cables can be had for next to nothing, so cost won't remain an issue. However, I would recommend reading up before purchase - quality varies. Some fella who works for Google bought a load of different USB-C cables from Amazon, and found some to be junk or even dangerous.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/5/9674462/usb-type-c-google-engineer-third-party-cables

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Dave 126
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> If it's so PRO then why only a maximum of 16gb RAM?

They could have done, but it would have been a fatter, hotter and more power consuming machine, as it seems Apple might be waiting on Intel CPUs to support Low Power DDR4, which they currently don't. A 'Mac Flightcase' might be useful for some, but then if you have access to power on site and are already committed to lugging flight cases around, you might as well start off with desktop-class hardware.

Indeed, it seems that anyone wanting more choice in their kit would do well to focus their ire on Intel rather than just Apple - for years, Intel have been concentrating in low power rather high performance. Expect greater RAM support in 2018.

http://www.imore.com/why-doesnt-new-macbook-pro-have-32-gb-ram

Editing 4K video is certainly doable on 16GB ram, especially if your SSDs are fast enough.

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Dave 126
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Re: Proven failure of the touchBar

Exactly: Nothing is 'proven' about the TouchBar because only Apple and their software partners (inc. Adobe and Da Vinci) have tried it. It turns out the link was referring to the Lenovo implementation, so that part of the article was disingenuous at best.

There are some valid complaints about ports, but as a non-Mac user they don't bother me. Actually, I welcome the port changes, as I'm happy to let other people work through the always-tricky transitional phase; by the time I'm ready to upgrade my kit* the peripheral market will have settled down.

*My ageing PC still does the job, and judging by PC sales I'm not the only one. Heck, I don't even have USB 3. However, when I eventually do upgrade I will want a single cable to give my laptop power, hi res monitors, external GPUs, fast external storage and a collection of other peripherals. Plus: One day I will be free of the old USB-A issue of only having a 50/50 chance of plugging a cable in on the first attempt!

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Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

Dave 126
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Re: Been there, done that, didn't work.

In the Adobe presentation during the new Macbook announcement, the virtual Esc key was present and correct, except for when the Adobe rep was actively using the bar as a virtual slider. It appears that after using the slider, she tapped the left of the touchbar to reinstate the virtual Esc key.

It would appear that the 'grammer' has been retained.

The video of the presentation will explain it more clearly.

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Dave 126
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>Many OSX (and Windows, etc) applications have in-depth support for them. But, they're used a bit differently than a "laptop screen you could draw on". Though, someone would probably be able to make that work.

In addition to their digitisers, Cintiq have made stylus-driven monitors - and indeed ARM and x86 tablets with stylus-driven screens - for quite a few years now. They were always a bit pricey, but the market appeared to be steady if small.

Today the state of the art is such that the apparent distance between the screen's surface and the pixels is smaller - just as we have seen in phone screens - which reduces parallax errors.

But yeah, for sure, many people are happy to use a plain digitiser as a mouse substitute or complement.

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Dave 126
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Re: Many good reasons why it might fail, but this is not one of them.

Indeed, good point about the middle ground.

Keyboards have this too - beginners might use the mouse to navigate to File > Save, intermediate users might Alt-F > S, power users might just Ctr-S. Nutters might configure their system to take an imaged backup every 10 minutes and never manually save a document!

I used to use Photoshop a lot, but only ever bothered learning a few of the keyboard shortcuts. Half the time I would be looking for ways of adjusting linear values more quickly... since there are only so many combos of alt, shift and ctrl I can be arsed to remember, a touchbar looks ideal. Adobe know this - they released an iPad app a few years ago which places OSX Photoshop tool palettes on the tablet.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

You can set the function keys to be always on. This might not help the people who are used to finding them by touch, but I dare say their finger will be fall pretty close to the right area of the bar - you hands will already know where they are from typing on the conventional keyboard. That's some users.

Another set of users will find the touchstrip a far more versatile HID device than a row of F keys. For many tasks - such as adjusting volume, or some other variable - it will be faster than using keys and consume less attention.

I'm a Windows CAD user. Your argument does seem to be that because the touchbar might detract from your work flow, those people it benefits don't do 'real work'. No, they are not idiots, they just use their computer for different tasks to you, often audio, video and photo editing work long associated with Macs.

>Does nobody in Apple's "design" group use Adobe Creative Suite anymore?

Adobe showed off their support for the touchstrip at its release. During much of the Adobe presentation, the virtual Esc was present in the normal place, and only disappeared when the touchstrip was being used as a slider. It appears that the virtual Esc key returned when the demonstrator tapped the touchbar. The video is here:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/adobe-photoshop-touch-bar-update-apple-macbook-pro/

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Dave 126
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Re: You really do get the feeling

Product Design is what Ive does, and as a discipline it is concerned with how things are used - function. The 'use' of a laptop doesn't just cover the times it is being typed on, but also how it feels to carry around, what you do when it goes wrong, everything. Cook was never an arbiter of product design, but was very competent at managing supply chains.

Product design, like engineering, is about compromise. More battery means more weight. It doesn't follow that there is one 'correct' balance of battery and weight. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

The Macbooks are good screens and keyboards in a lightweight package (the reason for a laptop's existence) with good enough CPU/GPUs for most tasks. They also expose their PCIe lanes to any bit of kit you want to plug into them. It's not an unreasonable approach, given they'd never be able to produce a variant which suits every user 'out of the box'.

You might remember how adamant Jobs was about not including BluRay support on any Mac. His logic was that Joe Punter would soon be streaming movies (or watching BluRay on a big TV through a games console), and the smaller group of people who really needed to burn Blu-ray discs would just attach their own drive.

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Dave 126
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Re: Worth $300 /400 extra?

>Is the touch bar that much of an advantage over physical function keys considering it how much it adds onto the cost of the device?

It really depends upon the application. On my desk now I have all manner of human input devices - a camera with scroll wheel (relative), D-pad, two jog switches (relative), four absolute dials or sliders, a two-level shutter button.

A mouse with many buttons and a scrollwheel which also moves left and right.

A joystick I found second hand but haven't found a use for yet - 3 analogue axis, analogue throttle, little hat and many buttons. Tempted to waste a few hours making it control my laptop's volume and media.

My car stereo has a proper knob for the volume. When I encounter car stereos which use two buttons for volume control, it makes me want to seek out the person responsible and shout at them.

A cheap Wacom digitiser, gathering dust. Tried to turn it into a MIDI controller, but Windows had other ideas. A friend has a bigger, pricier one, and swears by it for CAD work.

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Dave 126
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Re: Flawed Market Analysis

Apple's bottom line suggests they are smarter than you give them credit for. Do not mistake what they say in public (which is always well stage-managed) for the inevitable conversations that Apple have had internally.

You say that 'no one is liking the new Macs', but at the moment their pre-orders are high. Now, you and I might both suspect that is in part because of the long over-due CPU upgrades. In addition, I suspect that Apple have waited until now to bump the specs because they want to maximise adoption of USB-C over USB A, DisplayPort, HDMI etc, and adoption of the touch strip. Both the port selection and touchstrip will be better in the long run with 3rd party support, so it is a good strategic decision for Apple to draw people in with the long-awaited CPU/GPU upgrades and thus create a larger pool (a critical mass) of touchstrip/USB users. This interpretation might be incorrect, but it is plausible.

Make no mistake - Apple employ a lot of very bright analysts, and supply them with expensive-to-aquire data to work on.

>Someone somewhere is going to have to make a usable, affordable PC class computer.

That's never been Apple's game, yet here they still are. Windows laptops have come ion leaps and bounds in the last decade. A £300 laptop only feels cheap and slow in comparison with its pricier peers - taken on its own merits, it does all the simple tasks without much fuss.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's not JUST the toolbar

I have a Dell with a barrel connector for power - I've seen friend's Dells fail in this area.

Magsafe is nice, but its benefits aren't as useful as they used to be - simply because batteries last longer, people are less likely to be charging their laptops as they use them. I'm not saying this doesn't happen - it just doesn't happen as much as it used to.

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Dave 126
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Re: Hopefully Apple will listen...

once their sales collapse so hard that they carve a hole in their basement.>

They enjoying a lot of pre-orders, though much of that must be ascribed to the over-due CPU upgrades. However, I really don't think their sales will collapse. Let's agree to disagree until this time next year, Lisa :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Reminds me

>The "We've tried it before and couldn't make it work, so nobody can"-comment is so absurd and so overused, that you can hardly believe anybody making it these days.

Aye. I'm tempted to go through the Reg forum archives and see who here thought the iPad would be a flop upon its release - there were quite a few commentards who said it would. It would be even more fun if this process could be automated and suitable icons placed next to our handles!

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Dave 126
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In addition to better software support, the Apple touchbar has more capable hardware - it has ten points of multi-touch, and can be used as a slider or video scrubber. To compare it to Lenovo's virtual buttons is like comparing a scroll wheel to cursor keys.

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Dave 126
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Re: Been there, done that, didn't work.

>To be fair though, if it's implemented properly by the software manufacturers, rather than by the hardware manufacturer, it could work.

It seems Apple have got a few devs on board - Adobe, representing photoediting, Da Vinci representing video work and some music software. This is on top of the software Apple themselves make for internet, office tasks, photos, email etc

>However, so much software makes use of function keys, it seems arbitrary to change something just for a niche of users with MacBooks.

Here's the thing: by default, Apple's function keys haven't been function keys for years. They perform the functions that on a Windows PC normally require the 'Fn' button to be held down, such as screen brightness, volume, mute, media controls. They can be made function keys, but that is not the default OSX behaviour.

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Dave 126
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>Touch bar - pointless gimmick, I'm one of life's ESC users,

Fair enough, that's your use-case. Will you concede that Photoshop users can benefit from context-sensitive virtual sliders? Not only Photoshop, but many an application in video, photo and music.

I'm not a Mac user, so I'll keep on using keys or extra mouse buttons to modify the scroll wheel. I hear that some more modern Windows PCs actually have decent trackpads, but mine dates from the era when PC trackpads are just horrible - barely good enough to get you by when you've forgotten to pack your Logitech mouse.

Yep, like you I find my ageing laptop still up to the task! :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Worth $300 /400 extra?

I remember flight simulators that came with a cardboard keyboard template! These days you can get gaming keyboards with programmable RGB back-lighting - as well as gaming keypads and complicated-looking joysticks.

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Dave 126
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>Apple apparently forgot to make the screen touch.

They didn't forget - they just reckoned nobody wanted to be holding their arms out in front of them.

Where Apple do make a touchscreen computer, they think its more important that it be light than it is able to run applications designed for mouse and keyboard - hence the iPad.

Adobe make iPad apps that provide tool palettes for Photoshop on OSX - so hybrid touch interfaces for OSX do exist if a productivity application will benefit from it. This is on top of established support for Wacom stylus tablets.

Obviously, this requires you buy both a Mac and an iPad, but Apple don't mind that.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

Yep, Lenovo didn't have control over the OS as Apple do, they didn't have a suite of their own applications, and they didn't have enough market share to interest 3rd party developers.

All of the above were factors against Lenovo, before we even consider whether their hardware implementation was any good or not.

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DRAMA ON MARS: Curiosity bot fires laser at alien metal object

Dave 126
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https://xkcd.com/1723/ Meteorite Identification

And the link to a real flowchart in the alt text: http://meteorites.wustl.edu/check-list.htm

https://xkcd.com/1504/ Opportunity

http://xkcd.com/1091/ Curiosity

https://xkcd.com/695/ Spirit

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Dave 126
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The reasonably priced screen replacement scheme is interesting.

Edit: LG have had a scheme where they will replace a screen on some models for free, if you crack it in the first six months of owning the phone. It may be that other vendors have had similar schemes.

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MacBook headphone hell

Dave 126
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Re: There is zero need for a 3.5mm to Lightning converter

Annoyingly, Sennhieser only offer the spare cable in one length - 3 M - for about £15. My old Sennheiser cans - which are suitable for travelling about - would benefit from a 1.5 M cable. Oh well! I must see if the small mono plugs that go into the left and right cans can be sourced elsewhere.

My newer Sennheisers - ostensibly better - have a 1.5 M fixed cable but shipped with a cable extension.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>Isn't this the same argument that would have someone spend £10+/metre on speaker cable and bi-wiring / bi-amping? ]

I have had laptops and phones in which I can clearly hear interference from the rest of the system though - 'goblin chatter' when I move the cursor, for example. Separating the analogue stage from sources of interference is a common-sense approach. It's the inverse-square law.

>The audiophile "market" is utterly full of crap.

I agree -my amp and speakers are from the 1980s. However, can all agree that a modestly priced amplifier and speakers usually sound better than speaker docks, which in turn sound better than laptop speakers? That I wouldn't use my phone's speaker for music doesn't make me an 'audiophile' - it makes me someone who likes music.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>So having a generic little D-to-A converter plus power amplifier built into the headphones will sound better than a half-descent D-to-A and PA?

Why would you assume the DAC in the headphones would be 'generic' whilst the DAC in the phone would be 'half decent'?

Headphones are sold on sound quality. Phone are sold on a myriad factors.

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Dave 126
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Re: more headphones with their own DAC and amp will be available

>Which given space, cost, battery will generally be inferior than built in DAC & Amp in a phone, tablet, laptop, which will have a DAC and Amp ANYWAY for the built-in speakers

Battery? Headphones take power from the USB / Lightning connection. Clearly you've looked into this Mage.

Cost? I'm looking at my first DAC right now - a Gravis Ultrasound card. Its 16 bit playback and wavetable synthesis cost around £200 in the nineties. Last DAC I bought was a USB jobbie for £3 - though it is a bit shit. Still, a half decent DAC and amp won't add too much to the cost of a pair of headphones, and allow you other niceties such as battery-free noise-cancelling.

I don't know why you think a pair of headphones will incorporate a poorer DAC than any given phone. Who would you trust more - Sennheiser or Alcatel? It is only recently that phone vendors have started using sound quality as a differentiator - I think there was a variant of the Samsung S3 that used a Wolfson DAC, and LG have been pushing it since their G2.

Some people hold on to a favourite pair of headphones for years, even if they change their phone every 2-3 years (its usually only the cable that fails, and good headphones let you swap that). In any case, the inside of a phone isn't the ideal place for the analogue stage - back in the days when we still bought HiFi, we called the units 'separates' for a reason. The analogue output in my Dell laptop is poor - I can hear the cursor move. My phones have varied - my Sony Z3 was pretty good.

I wasn't - and I'm not - defending Bluetooth audio (though it doesn't necessarily require re-encoding if source and target play nice together... one would hope that Samsung > Samsung will for some codecs, just as we would Apple > Apple). I was merely stating, contrary to the OP's claim, that fact that some decent Lightning headphones do exist. Amusingly, this statement of fact seems to have upset some folk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>There are no decent headphones available with a Lightning plug.

The Philips Fidelio M2L headphones use Lightening. The Fidelio range has previously been well received, and first reports suggest that letting the headphones use their own DAC (thus shortening the analogue path) only makes them sound even better.

Down the line, more headphones with their own DAC and amp will be available (on USB as well as Lightening), rendering the quality of the source device moot (as long as it can stream the data without hiccup) as regards sound quality.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why are you giving them ideas?

>Apple would remove the keyboard if they thought they could get away with it.

Like the Macbook Wheel?

It uses predictive sentence technology:

http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-revolutionary-new-laptop-with-no--14299

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Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Dave 126
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Re: Not noise cancellation. Not at all.

>And why the heck does everyone think Bose invented this either?

Because Bose marketed it heavily at consumers, often in the same glossy newspaper supplements as they have long advertised their other wares.

There is lots of aviation technology that only later is affordable for Joe Punter. Additional examples include e-ink (several kg of flight manuals cost fuel) and eyeball tracking.

In any case, it doesn't bother people where a technology originated from... they only need to know who they can buy it from. Oh, and they don't want to buy a 'how', they want to buy a 'what'.

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Ex-soldier slapped with sex offender order after flouting private browsing mode ban

Dave 126
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Re: Infantilization is now an officially recognized disability?

The trick is to swap the exercise book in which you drew the naughty pictures for an otherwise similar

-looking exercise book.

Maybe this is why they say public school is good training for prison - or indeed, public life.

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Dave 126
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>it appears no different from being prosecuted for having an encrypted file for which you cannot offer the decryption key to the police when requested.

It's not an encrypted file, it's just a log of some atmospheric noise I recorded.

Shit, the 'Forgotten your password? Click here to send reset email' button gets a lot of use from me.

Turns out my 1024 bit keys are themselves just ascii art of kittens.

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Microsoft flips Google the bird after Windows kernel bug blurt

Dave 126
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>"One, you are irresponsible; two, you are wrong"

"I didn't steal your horse, and it turned out to be a shit horse anyway."

??

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Dave 126
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Re: "Oh look!! It has a display. And a keyboard."

> the USB format started in 1994. Since then (over 20 years), the speeds have increased 4 times. 3 of those times, the form factor for the connector to the PC did not change AND the new versions were all backwards compatible.Can't say that for Apple... Your argument is weak and your fanboi is showing.

FireWire (IEEE 1394) wasn't just an Apple effort, it was a group effort for high resolution scanners, digital video and external soundcards. On Sony kit it was called iLink. USB 1.0 wasn't up to those applications (it was more for joysticks, mice, keyboards etc), and even USB 2.0 which arrived much later, wasn't as suitable for streaming data as FireWire.

Similarly, Thunderbolt is an Intel effort (though Apple contributed the name, because Intel's original name, LightPeak, wasn't suitable after they ditched the fibre optic for copper). Again, it does stuff USB can't do - such as place PCIe devices outside the computer. PC vendors have been slow to adopt it, but we're beginning to see applications such as external GPUs for laptops.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apricot?

>This is approaching being a tablet with keyboard, the I/O is so poor.

Eh? It has 4 USB Type C ports, each one of which can do power, USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and HDMI.

The I/O is broad, fast and versatile.

True, there will be a bit of a faff for a while you're still using USB-A memory sticks and the like, but there's a good selection of 3rd party hubs and dongles thanks to the USB-C-only Macbook last year.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Oh look!! It has a display. And a keyboard."

>No USB sockets. Was a joke. Now a fact.

No USB [Type A] sockets.

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Dave 126
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Re: Strip or screen...

> ...tiny strips for DJing, how cool. Couldn't help but think 'just put your hands on the bloody screen man'.

It was just to demonstrate that the touchstrip had ten-point multitouch, and had low latency. If the DJ wanted more room for virtual knobs and sliders, he could use a variety of kit, including an iPad - which, like the original iPhone, has low latency and wireless MIDI baked into its OS (so the iPad can easily control the software on the Macbook).

In essence, the touchstrip is a thin iPad screen. Indeed, Adobe have had an iPad app for Photoshop tool palettes (controlling the host application on OSX) for a few years now.

It's curious that in two days we've had two different answers to 'How can I change the size of my Photoshop brush on the fly?' - MS's Knob, and Apple's Touchstrip.

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Dave 126
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Cuda

What are the advantages of CUDA over OpenCL? I know a few of you here use it.

It seems that CUDA ties you to one vendor, but application developers such as Da Vinci made the switch without too much fuss when the AMD only Mac Pro came out

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Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

Dave 126
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Re: "Promised" 3D in Powerpoint?

I'm now thinking of the 3D holographic shark in Back to the Future 2 - the shark that scares Marty outside the cinema to advertise 'Jaws 19'.

As a Powerpoint demonstration.

Until then, we have this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxHvQ0eHXA (Chang: Just a guy who knows PowerPoint)

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm confused.

>Why does a desktop computer, designed to be placed with its back against a wall or tilted so that its back goes down to the desk, have both front _and_ back mounted cameras?

It could be handy for snapping handdrawn sketches ( or small objects you want to sell on eBay or Etsy) at a 'good enough' resolution. If so, then Microsoft should supply it with an 'L' shaped power connector, so that the cable doesn't stray into the shot.

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Dave 126
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>Isn't the Professional Edition supposed to be the one people create on?

We used to have professional (Pro) titles such as 'product designer', 'carpenter', 'steel fabricator' and the like, but these days the term 'maker' (read: Creator) is widely used for amateurs, hobbyists and small-scale manufacture.

Generally, for hobbiest CAD, CAM, CNC and interfacing with old bits of kit, Windows is the OS to use, despite its idiosyncrasies and frustrations.

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Dave 126
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Re: The silver hockey puck works on and off the screen.

>Why do almost no screens (and none on laptop) support portrait, though many graphics drivers do?

The screen (and GPU + drivers) on my laptop support Portrait orientation just fine. The issue is that I find the keyboard difficult to use when my laptop is sat on its side. :)

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Dave 126
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Re: I want!

You have two main issues:

1 - Protecting the screen area from scratches (bits of metal, dust from diamond tools etc). This could be done with a sacrificial plastic sheet, as many people use on their phone screens.

2 - Dust ingress into the base unit. You should be able to knock yourself up a slim enclosure with dust filtering, though you might have to actively drive air through the filters in order to provide sufficient cooling. Still, some 9 mm plywood, some vacuum-cleaner filters and a couple of fans won't break the bank.

The hinge areas can be protected with - at minimum - a plastic bag and some duck tape.

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Let's praise Surface, not bury it

Dave 126
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Re: It is in fact interesting that the last three years or so have seen something that.....

It's only Microsoft (4:3) and Apple (16:10) making laptops with displays other than 16:9 , as I've been observing in these forums for quite a while now.

If anyone knows of any exceptions, please let me know!

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Dave 126
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Re: They fluffed it ages ago

Whilst it would have been nice if MS had made an ARM version of Windows that could run any Windows application (without performance penalties), it isn't possible. Mark this one down to 'technical hurdle', instead of 'strategic fumble'.

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I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

Dave 126
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Re: Spin is the answer

>A spin that provides somewhat less than 1g, say 1/3 g + lead-lined helmets and shoulder pads!

Just a thought: A very wide brimmed hat, worn in a vertical wind tunnel (think of the opposite of those wind tunnels that sky-divers use for practice!

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