* Posts by Dave 126

4927 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Out of time: Huawei, LG unveil watches nobody wants to buy

Dave 126
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Re: I just want...

>A face that's always on, and it's design can be changed via a USB connection. Just a simple watch.

Why would you want that?! If you want a different watch design, just put on a different watch. Seriously - accurate, reliable quartz watches are available for so little money.

The connected part of connected watches isn't a major power draw, as Casio and Citizen have shown.

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Dave 126
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Re: They're not TVs anymore.

>"Judging by the comments often made on Reg articles, we suspect It'd have a winner on its hands if it did the same again now."

Isn't that idea the norm now, separating the panel, sound system and 'tuner'? The tuners and speakers of many LCD sets go unused by many owners. The inclusion of speakers in LCD sets rarely makes the set bigger - instead the compromise is in the sound quality because the expectation is any user who cares audio will use multiple external speakers.

Satellite and cable receivers, PVRs and streaming video boxes are often used instead of the TV's internal tuner.

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Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Dave 126
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Re: Meh

>I needed a new battery after about 14 months with my note.

The lifetime of batteries is a factor of how many recharge cycles they have gone through, not months. If a phone goes two days between charges instead of one day, it will take far longer for the battery to degrade.

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Dave 126
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Re: And their USP is...?

>Honest question, who does a phone these days with a removable battery, SD card slot, decent hardware, and good build quality?

Samsung still do make the S5, k'know! They also make the S5 Active, a waterproof variant with a rugged mae-over.

What do you mean by 'build quality'? Materials, tolerances, proven durability, stiffness?

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Dave 126
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Re: Built in battery, no SD slot, no waterproofing?

>It's the Sony phones that all have waterproofing, not the Samsung.

Samsung do make 'Active' versions of the S4 and S5 that are waterproof, but they have been given a rugged style in addition.

But yeah, waterproofing is Sony's way to distinguish themselves from other high-end Android phones. Samsung's has always been, until now, to be throw all the latest technology together along with removable batteries and SD storage. Now, it seems Samsung are going all in for style and thinness - and I suspect they do have to shed their reputation for plastic.

Perhaps Samsung will release a variant of the S6 with a removable battery, or simply a fatter model with a bigger battery.

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Revival of fortune: Mad Catz Mojo Android gaming micro console

Dave 126
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Re: It's a cute device...

So you can put the Bluetooth dongle on the end of a USB extension cable to improve its range, maybe. My PVR benefits from having its WiFi dongle on an extension cable , just to get out of the WiFi shadow behind the TV.

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NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Dave 126
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>Cookness will in fact relaunch the Pippin.

i.e Let 3rd-party devs create 'casual' games for the Apple TV.

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Dave 126
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Maybe a new alloy that allows a coiled spring to store far more energy than a battery of Li-ion cells...

Okay, you're right; it'll be about watches.

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Evil Overlord - useful tips

Dave 126
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Evil Overlord - useful tips

I came across this handy list of tips for Evil Overlords. Much of the advise could be useful for system design and architecture in general :

" The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am. " continues:

- http://www.bombshelterzine.com/bobnew/bobfun.html

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Small cells are like DRUNKS. They don't use lamp posts for light, they use 'em for support

Dave 126
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>Steve Baker prefers a point to multi-point microwave approach,

I'm no expert, but I would have thought a Line Of Sight approach naturally fits lampposts, since from one lamppost you can usually see others.

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Spotty Ceres baffles boffins with bright patches

Dave 126
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Re: Confirmed by NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

I don't understand your comment.

The only thing that I can find about Bolden's view on extra-terrestrials is:

Bolden said, "J.R, I must admit, everybody that goes into space wants to see an alien or wants to see evidence there is other life in the universe and I am no different. But I am here to report that I saw no evidence. Although deep in my heart I believe there is good potential for other life in our universe."

Sounds reasonable enough.

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COSMIC FATTY from the DAWN of TIME simply can't exist – astroboffins

Dave 126
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Re: Checks Bible, looks up Genesis...

The best bit is that god creates plants on day three, but then retrofits the Sun on day four...

Who of us here hasn't made a similar mistake in a DIY project?

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STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

Dave 126
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Re: I only worry about damaging it if I'm using diamond cutting discs

>If you're using a diamond cutting disk in a way your wristwatch is at risk, it's not the watch I'd be most worried about!!

Ha ha! It's the not the cutting disc directly, but the resulting dust with diamond particles in that can damage watch faces.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wait, what?

>I got rid of my wrist-based, easily banged up watch when cell phones came out.

I still wear a watch - when my phone battery runs out, I am still able to tell the time. Phone battery last longer because I'm not using its screen to tell the time. Watch battery last years. I have an active job and I'm a clumsy sort - yet my watch doesn't get 'banged up', due to the steel bezel and sapphire crystal; I only worry about damaging it if I'm using diamond cutting discs.

That said, none of the current 'smart watches' really appeal to be, though Casio and Citizen come closer to my desired balance of function against form than others.

>I smell... hype. Lots and lots of hype. That or I've missed something. But looking at it more closely - I don't think I have.

Perform a time and motion study on how long it takes to get your phone from your pocket and unlock it, read the time, lock your phone and return it to your pocket. Ditto an incoming notification.

Socially, I don't always want a loud ring tone on my phone.

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Dave 126
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It'd be lovely to say that Kickstarter used the Amiga Guru Meditation because the Amiga's BIOS firmware was called Kickstart....

... but it's just a coincidence; Kickstarter uses Varnish server which adopted that error message in homage.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why are established companies allowed on Kickstarter?

There is nothing in the Kickstarter rules to prohibit an established company using it.

Just because a company has sold a previous generation of product to happy customers doesn't mean that the company has the cash flow to tool up for a new product - so the idea of gauging interest and acquiring cash on crowd-funding sites before making a big investment in manufacturing still holds.

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh...

If you used it at 100M depth, the smartphone it was paired to wouldn't work anyway. Something to do with water blocking radio signals... and buggering electrical kit by the conduction of electricity by ions.

.

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Dave 126
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Interesting:

Pebble Time also has a smart accessory port, enabling hardware developers to build sensors and smart straps that connect directly to the watch. Much more on this coming soon!

-from the Pebble Time Kickstarter Page.

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Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

Dave 126
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Buy a Blackberry Passport - they run most Android apps without issue these days.

Some older Android phones with QWERTY:

http://thedroidguy.com/2014/03/top-7-android-smartphones-physical-qwerty-keyboards-87556

Some Blutooth keyboards for Android Phones:

http://www.geeknaut.com/bluetooth-android-keyboards-07192518.html

If you don't see what you want - and you are that confident that other people will want it too - there is Kickstarter.com

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

Dave 126
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Re: Why Texas?

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/405259/a-haven-for-patent-pirates/?PM=GO

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Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Dave 126
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Re: How do SIM cards work

To answer your question:

The target for the team was the unique Ki encryption keys baked into each of Gemalto's SIM cards. These 128-bit values are hidden away inside the SIM electronics, and are supposed to be kept secret. Every SIM has one regardless of its manufacturer.

Mobile networks keep a copy of a SIM's Ki key before the card is given to a subscriber. This is so that the carrier can identify and authenticate the device containing the SIM when it joins a network.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/19/nsa_and_gchq_hacked_worlds_largest_sim_card_company_to_steal_keys_to_kingdom/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_identity_module#Authentication_key_.28Ki.29

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Dave 126
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Snowden's reputation, or lack of, is largely irrelevant. The powers that be haven't really denied the documents he has leaked are geniune, but rather they have acted as if the documents are real.

i.e They call him a traitor, not a nutter.

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Google's Softcard hookup: Never mind Apple Pay ... it's about beating the networks

Dave 126
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Re: What you do, right...

>in the event of loss because it represents only a small fraction of the customer's actual worth

Why don't you meet me in a dark alley after work to tell me more about your idea? I'm only holding this lead pipe because I wouldn't want you to trip over it.

[It should go without saying that I'm joking, and I'm not actually threatening Mr Barnes!]

Yeah, I'm generally in favour of cash, but it is not always convenient. For ordering goods and services online, it's useless. For some people, their intended purchases do represent a fair portion of their monthly income. I often do carry cash (ideally, just a little more than I feel I'll need for the day and night ahead) but some of my friends don't feel as comfortable doing the same.

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Dave 126
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Re: No thanks...

Apple don't collect you transaction history, or share it with retailers. This hasn't pleased some big US retailers like Wallmart, which would rather you use their clunky ConnectC payment system instead.

Strange that retailers weren't mentioned in the article beyond Tescos coupons- after all, these new payment systems depend upon the adoption of Point of Sale terminals.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Dave 126
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Re: vi + ms + troff (+ tbl + eqn + pic + scripts + sccs + etc. as required)

WYSIWYG was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?

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Dave 126
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Re: I admit, I am Word Processor inept.

>So....are there any recommendations for actually learning the whys and therefores of document creation?

One idea: Get a good existing document, and reverse engineer it.

I learnt some very useful things by being irritated a feature, and then discovering what that feature was actually for.

Styles: Very useful. Styles, usually named:

<u>Chapter Heading, </u>

Heading 1,

Heading 2,

Sub Heading 1,

Sub Heading 2,

Body

They are groupings of text paramters like Font, Size, Underline, Line/Page Break etc. Change the font size of Sub Heading 1, for example, and all your Sub Headings are updated.

Styles are hierarchical, so by using them you are automatically creating a document map - handy navigating straight to a certain section of your document. You can use it to make a 'Contents' page, too.

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Dave 126
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I remember one very short chapter in Michael Baywater's book 'Lost Worlds: What We Lost and Where Did It Go?'

"This book was researched and written without the aid of any Microsoft software at all. Such a pleasure; you can't imagine."

(Michael Baywater was the inspiration for his friend Douglas Adams' character Dirk Gently. He worked on some interactive fiction games in the 1980s and later on Adam's Starship Titanic. )

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Photoshop daddy: 'I’m not happy with body image issues it creates for a lot of women'

Dave 126
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Re: I'm being oppressed!

Don't worry - just impress women with your Nordic-ness in different ways; develop a taste for fermented fish and ignoring people in wooded areas, for example.

We're here to help!

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Dave 126
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>Anyone else think the "before" looks far better?

I can't tell under the JPEG compression artefacts.

Thinking of 'Men Behaving Badly', of a nudey magazine: "How you can fancy her?! She's got a staple through her boob!"

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Dave 126
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It's curious how we use 'Photoshop' as a verb, when 'airbrushed' has very negative connotations... as in 'airbrushed from history':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_images_in_the_Soviet_Union

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Leaky battery attack reveals the paths you walk in life

Dave 126
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Being able to search the Google Play Store apps by permission level would be nice.

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Dave 126
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Re: Aside from "victims need only install an attacker's app"

>I'm guessing this only works if (a) the phone has a SIM card in it and (b) the phone is turned on?

Yes, that is correct.

The idea is this:

- Location data (GPS and course location from cell tower ID and trig) require permissions in Android and iOS.

- Power Consumption data and Network access are commonly granted permissions in Android and iOS.

The researchers are using 'innocent' power consumption data as a proxy for signal strength data.

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Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

The researchers' app has GPS access to compile route profiles in advance of an attack. They haven't bothered to actually make a dedicated app to deploy on target phones - they don't need to do so. Such a malicious app on the target's phone would only require access to battery data and the network. From the PDF:

Suppose an attacker measures in advance the power profile consumed by a phone as it moves along a set of known routes or in a predetermined area such as a city. We show that this enables the attacker to infer the target phone’s location over those routes or areas by simply analyzing the target phone’s power consumption over a period of time.

. . .

We emphasize that our approach is based on measuring the phone’s aggregate power consumption and nothing else. We do not read the phone’s signal strength since that data is protected on Android and iOS devices and reading it requires user per-mission. In contrast, reading the phone’s power consumption requires no special permissions and we therefore focus all our efforts on what can be learned from this data.

We assume a malicious application has been installed on the victim’s device and runs in the background while the victim is tracked. The malicious application has neither permission to access the GPS, nor other location providers (e.g. cellular or WiFi network). The application has no permission to access the identity of the currently attached or visible cellular base stations or SSID of the WiFi networks.

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Don't touch me up there! Photoshop creator appeals for 'ethical' use

Dave 126
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Re: Bring out the GIMP!

I'm not really a photographer (more design and 3D visualisation), so perhaps I need the less mainstream tools more often than some people. I have used the Gimp, and I kinda get on with it*... and then find some functionality just isn't there.

- *.EXR and *.HDR files, containing high dynamic range information. Gimp doesn't do HDR. A Gimp fork called CinePaint does.

* with some help from a GIMP plugin called 'GIMPShop'- as you can guess, it mods The Gimp to closer resemble PhotoShop.

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Dave 126
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Re: that's one way of looking at it, here's another

>I understand your financial concerns, but I would not send a son/daughter of mine to an art/photo school that didn't teach them digital imaging without Photoshop. Because you may like it or not, it became an industry standard, and it's much easier to find a job in those sectors if you can use it proficiently.

I think it's just assumed that students and young people will just pirate Photoshop, and become proficient in it. This makes the chief advantage of The Gimp irrelevant. Adobe doesn't really lose out -those young people couldn't afford PS anyway. The students will become proficient in PS, and go on to use legitimately licensed copies in industry; If they become self-employed, the PS licence goes against tax.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Dave 126
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> £31.930 as tested RRP

A review of a French car, so adopting the French use of . as a thousands separator, and , to denote a decimal point? Either that, or this car is a helluva bargain!

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How many Watches will Apple flog? 20, er, 18.5, no, five, wait, 50 million!

Dave 126
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It'll be fun to read this thread in a years time. Should serve as a good yardstick for who has difficulty thinking.

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Dave 126
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There are a lot more iPhone owners than there are Mac users, let alone Mac users in 2000.

Just saying.

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Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Dave 126
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>taking the battery out of your phone – aka the engineer’s reset – is the only way to be sure. >Unfortunately, that’s not an option on many phones these days.

Start the phone running a GPU benchmark utility and then put it in a metal box. The battery won't last forever.

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Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

Dave 126
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Wow.

Some people here are saying Ive is crap because he just designs the boxes, and you are saying he's shit because he wasn't a radio engineer. FFS.

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Dave 126
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Re: @AC - Alternatively

Don't worry AC, I know what you mean.

Some users would exhibit intelligence, others would design that car Homer Simpson created for his brother.

Really, the average user isn't in a position to 'design their ideal X' because they haven't got the time and the space to carve up dozens of foam prototypes.

In any case, and assuming Ive was talking about the MotoX, Ive's dig was that giving a choice of colour and material alone didn't make the phone good value. [Reviews upon the release of the Moto X said it charged a high-end price for midrange internals. Actually its USP was a that it was always listening for a voice prompt, 'Touchless Control' made possible by dedicated processing unit. It was sold on the user experience and not just the bare specifications. Motorola went on to drop the price of the phone several times after its launch.]

The rest of the NYT article mentions Ive's Bentley Mulsanne - a model with over 100 exterior colours and four paint finishes to choose from, alongside 24 different coloured leather hides and 10 veneers. Additionally, the Bentley factory can match any colour you provide. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, a bespoke colour scheme can be created just for you.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Dave 126
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Re: I'll give you three guesses

Watching Wolf Hall?

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Dave 126
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Re: None

Wait and see... VAIO are no longer part of Sony, and they have some interesting laptops waiting in the wings.

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Dave 126
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Re: I Wonder

Kit is expensive and glass-and-carbon-fibre-reinforced-plasticy (with magnesium/aluminium bits)

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Dave 126
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Re: I Wonder

Kit is OK, just install [any fresh OS of your choice] on it

There, fixed it for you.

[Sidenote: My first Linux experience was installing Mint on an ancient IBM Thinkpad with a mate, just for fun... Once we grasped the Linux conventions it was a straightforward job, except that it had odd audio hardware. We got a sense of accomplishment when we got a noise out of it!]

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Dave 126
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Lots of Windows users are puzzled as to why they can get very high res tablets and phones, but not many laptops (though Toshiba and Lenovo make some).

Whilst more modern versions of Windows are saner in the way they deal with UI scaling, Adobe isn't quite there yet.

However, the following thread suggests that Adobe are actively working on this:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1327166?start=80&tstart=0

My point is that photographers and artists with money are the people most likely to benefit from non-Apple laptops/monitors with very high resolutions. Until applications take advantage of high res monitors, people will have less reason to buy the hardware.

[CAD benefits from very high res displays because of the appearance of single-pixel diagonal lines... for this reason (and that CAD workstations have had the GPUs to drive high res displays), Solidworks et al have had the option of scaling their toolbars for years]

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Dave 126
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Before Photoshop:

The Adams Retouching Machine pat. 1947

This machine vibrated the negative being worked on, to smooth out the strokes made by a brush or pencil.

http://petapixel.com/2014/10/19/adams-retouching-machine-helped-old-school-photoshoppers-retouch-negatives-hand/

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Nutanix to release 'community version' of its secret software sauce

Dave 126
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Re: "Secret software sauce"

Sometimes when reading a Reg article I can't make head or tail of, I don't know if it is because it is about a field I'm ignorant of, or if it is because I'm being slow - or both.

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HOLY SEA SNAILS! Their TEETH are strong enough to build a plane

Dave 126
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Re: Back to nature

Thank you for bringing that to my attention - i missed that series.

Sadly, it's no longer available on iPlayer, but these programmes tend to be repeated.

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Windows 10 for phones: Stepping towards the One True Windows

Dave 126
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Re: Is IE still cack on it?

IE?

Microsoft's default browser across devices will be their own 'Spartan', with a version of IE continued for compatibility. Spartan has been described as being Chrome-like.

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