* Posts by Dave 126

4800 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

NO BRAIN needed to use Samsung's next flagship mobe

Dave 126
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Re: So?

>By the way, the famous S5 camera gives very nice photos in bright sunshine but is dreadful in dim light.

Most reviews - including dpreview.com's - suggest the S5 camera isn't too bad in low light... but that there is a knack to getting reasonable low light pictures from it.

Samsung might be communicating to its existing user-base that the S6 will not ask them to spend as long in funny menus.

An experienced human photographer will decide what 'human/aesthetic content'* in the scene is the most important to them, and make their compromise accordingly (e.g, trade subject motion blur for lower noise, or trade depth of field for a lower shutter speed). Though a camera will never know what in the scene the photographer want to capture, it can take a fair guess that most of the time a photographer wants human faces to be in focus, and for sunsets to look red and orange. These are normally called 'scene modes', and the next logical step is to have the scene mode selected automatically- Panasonic's compact cameras have an 'Intelligent Auto' mode that is usually well reviewed.

It was good to see the 'Megapixel race' peter out a few years ago, and the rise of 'premium compact' cameras - For the same reason many people choose a DSLR over a Medium Format camera (size), I prefer to carry a good compact to a DSLR. You have to choose your own compromises.

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SpaceX HOVER-SHIP landing scuppered by MASSIVE ocean waves

Dave 126
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Re: Return to land

They still do - there was a good BBC documentary on recently "Cosmonauts: How Russia Won the Space Race"*, and the presenter joined the ground crews at they raced to meet the just-landed crew capsule.

However, SpaceX aren't trying to land a relatively inert crew capsule - they are trying to land a rocket stage - with fuel still on board. Landing at sea avoids all sorts of potential bureaucratic headaches and potential PR cock-ups (just in case the rocket stage lands on top of a lone hiker or rare animal), and the rocket stage can be recovered from the sea with less damage - so SpaceX can discover why it didn't land as planned.

*Another highlight was an interview with Alexey Leonov, the first man to conduct an EVA (commentated by Arthur C Clarke in his novel 2010: Odyssey 2.)

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Dave 126
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And:

Of Course I Still Love You

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/01/elon-musk-iain-m-banks-just-read-the-instructions

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Hacker kicks one bit XP to 10 Windows scroll goal

Dave 126
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Re: Again "popped"? That's three times ...

Are you feeling alright this week? The link to further information is in the article, in the customary blue.

The linked article says it is a Use After Free vulnerability, not a Stack Overflow.

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CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Dave 126
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Re: Welcome back to el reg, Claire Perry!

>"Transport minister Claire Perry added....."

>Wondered what happened to her.

James Hacker: But I'm going to be Transport Supremo!

Sir Humphrey Appleby: I believe the Civil Service vernacular is Transport Muggins!

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Dave 126
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>Personally I hope driverless cars will have taken over the roads before I decide to hand in my driving licence because I am no longer competent to drive.

I can't see driverlesss cars taking overthe roads before 11 pm this evening - I won't be competent to drive by then!

But seriously, driverless cars will allow people to be more sociable in more rural areas.

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Dave 126
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>By which I mean, what problem or need are they addressing, that couldn't be better served by improved public transport?

Driverless cars will eventually converge with public transport.

-The only public transport that travels from door-to-door at the time the user wants is a taxi - and that is expensive for the user because the human taxi driver needs to make a living.

-Human taxi drivers are known to work until they have made a certain amount of money each evening - on rainy nights they make this amount of money more quickly due to higher demand, then go home - this is why it is hard to find a taxi on a rainy night. (this is explained in the book Freakanomics)

-Driverless cars would allow for traffic junctions that don't require vehicles to stop and start, thus improving fuel efficiency and engine life.

-Driverless cars be instructed well in advance to move to the side of the road, meaning that emergency vehicles can travel faster.

-Driverless cars can improve the capacity, fuel efficiency and safety of motorways, by travelling in networked 'trains'.

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Cortana to form CIRCLE OF LIFE in Windows 10

Dave 126
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Re: "Sensitive" and "Abashed"

>The whole point of having a piece of equipment is that it does its job and you don't need to care about how it's "feeling".

Ideally not. However, many of us here will be attuned to the noises our computers make - whirring fan noise or high hard-disk activity, for example, might alert us to an out of control process.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good fucking gawd/ess.

jake, there is no mention anywhere in the article about Microsoft making any reference to the Lion King - those are references made by The Register. Read it again.

(The Lion King is a Disney property - the largest shareholder in Disney was CEO of a big mobile device and compute company, but that company wasn't Microsoft).

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Dave 126
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Re: Will she

Well, there was that batch of Li-Ion batteries that combusted, used by a few phone vendors... they were capable of boiling a cup of water!

"Cortana: Please order me a Teasmaid and a Roomba from Amazon".

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes But...

To turn Cortana off, open Cortana's NotebookCortana's Notebook icon > Settings, turn Cortana off Toggle off icon, then restart your phone.

Compared to some settings I've seen in the past, that seems pretty straightforward. No floating around in a red-lit micro-gravity environment required!

Sidenote: Both Kubrick and Clarke thought that HAL's 'brain' would be no larger than a shoe-box, but Kubrick decided to represent it as room-sized purely for cinematic reasons.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's so soothing

This is an area in which Microsoft are hoping they can distinguish themselves from Google - 'filling a gap in the market', so to speak. Certainly the user seems to have more granular control over what information (location, browsing history, emails, FaceBook etc) Cortana uses.

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-gb/how-to/wp8/cortana/cortana-and-my-privacy-faq

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Worried you got PINK EYE when you shook hands? Doctor Google will see you now

Dave 126
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I'm just smiling, thinking about the tin incident:

...there was no tin-opener to be found. . .I took the tin off myself and hammered at it till I was sick at heart, whereupon Harris took it in hand. We beat it flat; we beat it back square; we battered it into every shape known to geometry - but we could not make a hole in it. Then George went at it, and knocked it into a shape, so strange, so weird, so unearthly in its wild hideousness, that he got frightened.

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Dave 126
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Re: Kudos for that JKJ ref

And that is just the first couple of pages!

The narrator just feels a little out of sorts, and so visits the British Library where all human information is available to him (it's easy to see the internet in that). He soon diagnoses himself that he has every ailment known to man or woman - except for Housemaid's Knee. He presents himself to his doctor with "I don't have Housemaids Knee" and the doctor hands him the folded prescription. He only actually reads it after a pharmacist is unable to fulfil it.

Three Men in a Boat is an ideal book to give your sprogs to show them that the Victorians weren't that different from us.

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REVEALED: TEN MEEELLION pinched passwords and usernames

Dave 126
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>I'm still at a loss trying to figure out specifically how did he acquire that cache of passwords

Second paragraph:

The huge pile, collected from caches revealed after years of breaches, was scrubbed clean of corporate information and domain data before its release.

Fourth paragraph:

"These are old passwords that have already been released to the public; none of these passwords are new leaks," Burnett (@m8urnett) wrote in a post addressing some received criticism.

It seems that he has merely collated usernames and passwords from past breaches that others have published on the internet.

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Sitting on one's ARSE is the new CANCER, says Tim Cook - and an Apple watch will save you

Dave 126
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Re: Thinking Not Required

There are quite a few studies that suggest that spending long periods sat down is damaging to your health, irrespective of how much exercise you take.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888 refers to a meta-study.

In some Scandinavian countries, dual-height desks (use seated, then it rises to allow you to work standing up) have been common for a decade or so.The desks seems quite expensive though - it might be cheaper to just mirror your display onto a second, raised monitor and plug in an extra mouse and keyboard.

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NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack

Dave 126
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Re: I love

That depends upon whether Charlie has had his mental development muddled by parvovirus or not. Here is a video of a one such canine cheerfully eating a police car. With police officers in it! He later shrugs off a couple of hits with a Taser...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAc9k7vJ9Zk

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Dave 126
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Re: That...

Damned impressive; Ray Bradbury's Mechanical Hound required eight legs...

The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber padded paws.

>Their other projects are far scarier.

That depends on whether you have a secret stash of books or not! You should be kitted out with some 105" Samsung TVs like a good citizen ;)

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Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

Dave 126
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Re: Small touchscreen

Thanks Teiwaz.

I looked into this very briefly the other day - I'm not a regular Linux user. Reading a bit more, I found a few threads in which Ubuntu users were struggling to use multiple workspaces with multiple displays - where each display was dedicated to a workspace. I didn't read on enough to discover if they had found a solution.

I don't get on well with the GIMP on Windows because its tool palettes hide each other, though I've heard it is much nicer on some Linux distros because it benefits from a window manager.

I was actually prompted into looking into this by the article about two upcoming Ubuntu phones... and again, wondering if 'synergies could be leveraged'* between Ubuntu Phone and Destop.

*Yeah, I know. I deserve some abuse for that.

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Dave 126
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>Why would you want to drop a tool pallets onto a small touch screen when you could by a full blown touch screen for a fraction of the price?

I take your point - for just displaying tool palettes the screen quality isn't important, so a very cheap 7" tablet would be perfectly adequate.

What I was getting at was more the software integration between the desktop and the mobile OS. In the above example, I wouldn't' want the secondary display to emulate a mouse, because it would shift my cursor from where I want it. (DANG! I've just discovered that Adobe did this four years ago.... sorry for being slow on the uptake - I'm not an Apple user. http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/05/10/adobe_releases_photoshop_companion_apps_for_apples_ipad )

Who has both a mobile and a desktop OS? Google*, Apple**, Microsoft, and possibly Ubuntu.

For MS, having what will be a very common desktop OS should be an asset to help push their phone OS. It could be something as simple and convenient as including a suite of polished phone apps for controlling media playback on their desktopPC, through to full remote desktop.

*okay, ChromeOS isn't too common, but Google have made the Chrome browser something akin to a User Environment... e.g desktop Chrome tabs open on my phone, Google have an experimental game viewed on the desktop Chrome but controlled by the gyroscopes on my phone, Chrome runs productivity applications and document storage...

** Apple have been adding 'Continuity', to allow some tasks to be handed over from MacOS to iOS and vice versa. Simple example, allowing the user to write SMS texts on their Mac. I don't know what took them so long.

Even Sony are looking to merge their devices.... see Remote Play - playing PS4 games on their Android games across the LAN.

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Dave 126
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Windows 10 on desktop and on phone... C'mon Microsoft, do some things that Apple has never bothered to do*- such as making it easy for desktop applications to dump tool palettes onto a smaller touchscreen device. I'm not talking about the laggy high-bandwidth approach of just making the touchscreen device a secondary desktop monitor, but a well thought-out implementation. Give Windows 10 desktop users a reason to buy a Win 10 phone.

This applies to you too, Ubuntu.

* not quite true... iPhones have always had wireless MIDI baked-in, so have been easy to incorporate into electronic music workflows. And using

http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/quick-tip-midi-translation-midi-to-keystrokes--audio-6914

MIDI inputs can be output as keystrokes, so one could use any MIDI instrument to control any application with keyboard shortcuts. An example - using a Korg box of knobs and sliders to control Photoshop parameters - is here:

http://www.bome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3116

(Strangely, I've only ever tried doing the opposite - trying to use a Wacom Baboo as an ersatz Korg Kaospad - but I got frustrated with Windows' sound subsystem and gave up in disgust. )

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This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS

Dave 126
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Even without the dedicated Blu-ray player, the future archaeologists would be able to read the raw patterns (albeit laboriously) with a microscope of some description.... the tricky part would be decrypting that data and working out how it is ordered. Maybe. And then they discover that it is a Rick Astley video. Maybe they will have developed a useful quantum computer by the year 4000 A.D.

"What are these circular objects? We seem to find them in almost every former building in this stratum. The hole in the middle suggests that they are not plates. The tolerances to which they are made suggest they were made to physically interface with another object of some kind..."

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Dissidents and dealers rejoice! Droid app hides your stash in plain sight

Dave 126
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Re: Not on Google Play

Yep, this play is centuries old. If you are in power and want to keep tabs on the people who might oppose you, you yourself start a group that 'opposes' you.

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Dave 126
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Re: GF Mode?

I'm not sure that it can hide your Tinder/Grindr apps!

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Dave 126
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Re: Well, it is just a toy...

.> 'obfuscation... increases security of the data' .... Well, so now obfuscation increases security? Hmmm. Does not compute.

It isn't intended to defeat a forensic IT specialist with the proper kit, it's just intended to hide stuff if an untrained copper takes a quick once-over.

It's akin to the difference between leaving an ounce of botanical narcotics unwrapped on your kitchen table, and having it doubly sealed and hidden out of sight. The latter scenario is not *secure* - especially against a four-legged police officer - but it is still preferable to being blatant.

Side note: I did hear of one weed dealer who was so paranoid about writing down accounts that he instead committed them to memory and calculated figures in his head... he became so adept at quick mental arithmetic that he realised he could make far more money by trading in legal goods. He stopped peddling dope, got a VAT number and has never looked back.

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Jupiter Ascending – a literally laughable train wreck of a film

Dave 126
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Re: Predictable?

I think I might go and watch Patriot Games now.

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Dave 126
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Re: Sceptical Mila is sceptical

It seems the criticisms that some people have of the film Cloud Atlas could also be made of the book of which it's based.

I enjoyed the film, but then I'd read the book a few years previously (enough to forget some of the details) so I wasn't surprised by its structure or mixture of stories.

This Jupiter Ascending... the trailer I saw in the cinema last week didn't encourage me to see it. Oh well. At least we have had Guardians of the Galaxy as a fun interstellar movie romp this last year.

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They've finally solved it: Schrödinger's cat is both ALIVE AND DEAD

Dave 126
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Re: Bloody furious

>Is the cat an observer?

Wouldn't it be fairly straightforward to just place a physicist in the box, and be done with it? It would be easier than educating the cat to undergraduate-level physics.

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'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

Dave 126
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Re: Makes sense

> Sounds to me like it's bad component choice for a board which is designed for hobbyists

Methinks the opposite - what hobbyist doesn't have some Blu-tack or duck tape to hand?

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

Dave 126
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Re: The future...

>it will have a touch UI when it's a phone or tablet, and a desktop UI when it's a desktop and it will switch between them as required.

Thinking generally about the 'One OS, Two UIs' concept:

- It's a misnomer. We already have multiple UIs on our desktops, eg mouse-driven PaintShop, joystick-driven Wing Commander.

- People's use of a UI changes over time. E.G a novice uses the mouse to navigate through a hierarchical menu to find a command, but over time they start using keyboard short-cuts for more common commands, and progress to using shortcuts for more obscure commands. This applicable to 3210 era of Nokia phone UI, too.

-It would be good to see a touchscreen UI tablet used in concert with a desktop UI. The idea of using a desktop application such as InkScape with its major tool palettes presented on a tablet is a very attractive.

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You gotta keep a smart watch on the Swiss, Apple: Enter SWATCH

Dave 126
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Swatch have played this game before - in the nineties they made a pager watch

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NSA raided hackers' troves of stolen data: report

Dave 126
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Re: Lovely Horse

Best code name ever!

Father Ted and Dougal would agree:

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

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Ross Ulbricht, in the library, with the laptop: Silk Road boss found GUILTY of all charges

Dave 126
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Re: Idiots!

He did take a lot of steps to stay anonymous - but to be caught he only had to mess up once.

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Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Dave 126
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Re: I'm hopeful

>Also not seeing Qualcomm or ARM mentioned, it's pretty unthinkable launching a new graphics API without mobile support.

The article didn't make it clear - Steam is presenting Kronos's glNext. ARM and Qualcomm are a senior Khronos members.

>Ultimately this sounds like an effort to make opengl compete with the DirectX optimizations and mantle.

It does. AMD have given Kronos Mantle to do with as they wish. Of Mantle, they say it's closer to DirectX12 than DirectX12 is to DirectX11 - the trend, as seen in Metal, Mantle and DierctX 12, is to allow the game engine to be closer to the metal. It suits AMD to reduce the CPU overhead on GPU calls.

>[DirectX has]had its problems in the past, for sure, but these days [DirectX12] is a surprisingly nice, well designed API.

Yep, it is incorporating some of the same ideas as Mantle, Metal and the next OpenGL. The idea is that the game-engine does what was traditionally expected of the graphics driver... However, there was no business reason for MS to open-source it.

Now though, one would expect game developers to want a open standard since they are releasing games for x86 Windows, Linux, XboxOne and PS4.

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Red-spattered Android figures sinkhole Sony's healthy financials

Dave 126
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>Sony making Android is a sort of problem though.

The version of Android shipped on Sony (and Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola etc) phones is *not* open source. See AOSP Vs Google Play Services for details.

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

Dave 126
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Re: Is this needed?

>This really looks like using technology to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

>It would be much better if they created a washing machine robot that could load/unload the washing machine and then iron.

I think building design could provide ways of making washing easier... for example, having a chute from the first floor landing down to the utility room.

Whilst they were at it, a 'grey water' system could be incorporated, so that toilets can be flushed with water from the washing machine and shower.

Regards ironing robots... maybe an easier approach to this problem is better textile technology... I seem to recall a shirt that contained a titanium 'memory alloy', so the shirt could be 'pressed' by zapping it with a hair-dryer.

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Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

Dave 126
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>MS killed the Netbook market by trying to shoehorn their cutdown but still bloated OS on to them,

Maybe the small letterbox display of Netbooks killed the Netbook as the go-to portable internet device, especially when compared to 10" tablets? Maybe the prevalence of only-slightly-more-expensive full size laptops (usable keyboards! Bigger screen for watching video!) also had something to do with it.

I've used a Netbook with WinXP and Open Office with a serial port temperature probe for data logging.... but trying to read any website with it required a lot of scrolling.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good work MS

>Right, I've been letting this one slide for a while, but enough is enough.

>It's ANDROID. A.N.D.R.O.I.D.

>I swear it's as if there's some conspiracy at work to propagate this misspelling. Who on earth could >benefit from that? Certainly not Microsfot...

It's more likely be cock-up than conspiracy... we recognise words at a glance by their overall shape (which is why UK road signs use Title Case, and not UPPER CASE like the USA does...), so Android and Andriod can escape proofreading. It probably doesn't help that i and o are adjacent on most people's keybaords.

Sorry, keyboards.

Teh

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Dave 126
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Re: Leverage, Leveraged, Leveraging

Mine is 'a differential' is when someone means 'a difference'. We don't hear people using 'a sequential' when they mean 'a sequence', 'a torrential' when they mean 'a torrent', or 'a cyclical' when they mean 'a cycle', so why the constant of misuse of 'differential' by people who should know better?

'A differential gearbox' and 'a differential analysis' are fine.

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Dave 126
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Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

>Fact is there *were* features people have enjoyed for a long time....

Enjoyed by web-users, or by developers?

>... but due to the mindless bashing of the press and fanatical followers of Steve Jobs

As an Android / Windows user, I agree with Jobs on this - but I didn't need him to point out the high CPU load Flash inflicts on my laptop - the fan noise does that.

To simplify: The use of Flash can be roughly dived into three classes:

1, Video, for which HTML5 and hardware-accelerated codecs appears to the correct solution - even Adobe think so.

2, Games - for that sort of causal gaming experience, many people now play native Android or iOS games.

3, Animations - for which Flash is still the best solution. However:

As a consumer of content on the web, it seems to me that most Flash animation is not for my benefit - it is put to use in advertisements, or else in often-misguided attempts to make websites more interactive or visually interesting. [Web designers: if in doubt, Keep It Simple Stupid!] As a content consumer, 99% of the time I just want to read the text, look at the pictures and watch the video - ideally in a fairly standard way across websites. Only occasionally do I come across a a Flash element - say an interactive diagram with roll-over elements - that genuinely enhances my experience.

Adobe have made Edge Animate - a tool to create Flash-like animations using HTML 5 and CSS, but the consensus is that is not there yet - as the results are at the mercy of different implementations of in different browsers. Hopefully it will get there.

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Dave 126
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Re: Plugins are actually the symptom, not the root problem

>The question is, why did people even get the idea of using plugins?

It seems that Adobe (before they acquired Flash etc with Macromedia) wanted Netscape Navigator to render PDF files directly. Netscape proposed building PDF support into Navigator, but Adobe suggested that Netscape develop a system for supporting plugins, as Adobe themselves had done for Adobe Reader.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPAPI#History

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Dave 126
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Games built on HTML 5, iOS or Android should provide your good lady wife with some distraction.

She might find a tablet - and we're hearing good things about inexpensive Android models these days - more convenient than a laptop for causal gaming / general messing around online. If she doesn't already have one, the 14th of February might give you an excuse to buy her a tablet.

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Dave 126
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Re: YouTube in HTML5, Firefox

The slow death of Adobe Flash has been hastened — YouTube, which used the platform as the standard way to play its videos, has dumped Flash in favor of HTML5 for its default web player. The site will now use HTML5 video as standard in Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8, and in beta versions of Firefox. YouTube engineer Richard Leider said the time had come to ditch the aging Flash in favor of HTML5 as the latter, used in smart TVs and other streaming devices, had benefits that "extend beyond web browsers."

YouTube's move highlights the shrinking relevance of Adobe Flash on the modern internet. Adobe itself has spent the last few years severing many of its ties with the product — the company's Flash 2012 Flash roadmap narrowed its focus to gaming and "premium" video, and in 2011, the company killed Flash Player for mobile, saying at the time that HTML5 was the "best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." In 2015, YouTube has realized that Flash is not the best solution for web video, full stop.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/27/7926001/youtube-drops-flash-for-html5-video-default

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Dave 126
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Re: Obligatory "Aliens" reference

Flash... BANG!

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Bitter Lake: Know your enemy? Impossible, surely, when you don't know if the enemy exists

Dave 126
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Re: Disappointed

For a quicker Adam Curtis 'hit', search ' Adam Curtis blog ' for some fine selected archive footage, most only a few minutes long and without his voice-over.

Seems the BBC is no longer constrained by the cost of videotape as it once was - early Dr Who fans know what I mean.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

Dave 126
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>"Where's the evidence they're coming from Android?"

>>There isn't any, Apple's market share hasn't increased, it has fallen.

If the entire pie is growing, it is possible for a slice to become absolutely bigger whilst shrinking as a percentage of the total.

In addition, if the pie is sliced into more slice, it is possible for one slice to grow against another with again shrinking as a percentage of the total total.

I'm not saying that this is what has happened, I'm just helping you with your logic.

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Dave 126
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The circumstantial evidence is Samsung's bottom line.

More robust evidence would come from the network operator.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Dave 126
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Re: "Hey, Camilla. What can I do for You?"

@P. Lee

Thank you.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Hey, Camilla. What can I do for You?"

>Perhaps you might also provide the Pluniverse with 'Flappy Dave'.

Camilla, I am not a coder. I am a product designer. Good quality proprietary software allows me to design and build real objects more easily than any open source equivalent. The amount of time and money it saves me is orders of magnitude greater than a Windows licence.

I am no more likely to 'roll my own' CAD suite than a carpenter would make her own cordless drill. She doesn't make her cordless drill because she's a carpenter who makes chairs and not a tool manufacturer! I really don't understand why you find that scenario so objectionable.

>Before you rape me I claim naif.

What does that even mean?

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Charles Townes, inventor of the laser and friend to both science and religion, dies

Dave 126
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Re: Religion is...

>The time spent studying the accounts of 2,000 year-old illiterate, uneducated, peasants and imagining that this will somehow shed light on the way the universe works, is an utterly despicable waste of a great mind.

Er, Townes explicitly said that understanding the *way the universe works* is science. As a human being he also wanted to think about what the meaning of universe might be - and we might call that religion, spirituality or philosophy. It's a point of view, similar to Stephen J Gould's 'Non-overlapping magisteria' - it isn't held by everyone, but is an attempt at a consensus that can allow one to stop fighting and do some science. The chances are that his faith/curiosity aided his scientific endeavours rather than hindered them.

Had he been a baseball fan, would you still have said that his study of the sport was "an utterly despicable waste of a great mind."? What about Einstein's violin playing, or Feynman's bongo playing?

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