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* Posts by Neil 8

51 posts • joined 27 Aug 2010

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Virgin Media hit by MORE YouTube buffering glitches

Neil 8

Also the Google Play Store

... But perhaps they cache access to that too?

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T-Mobile US lobs sueball at Huawei: Claims Chinese giant stole robot tech

Neil 8

"T-Mobile was forced to cancel planned Huawei handset purchases"...

... Because now (after stolen-robo-testing) they'd be more reliable for T-Mobile's customers?

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Nearly there! LOHAN Kickstarter pot o'gold breaks £29,000

Neil 8

Important question

Are you inviting Lindsay Lohan to the launch now it's in her own back yard*?

*Still probably around 2000 miles away.

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

Neil 8

Re: Use of technology

The recording would be inadmissible in a tribunal/court unfortunately.

Although, recording it for your own use is legal, AFAIK.

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Kickstarter hopefuls promise high-res aerial maps for the masses

Neil 8

Re: PTGUI

Yeah, he's placed the wheel in the cloud & will be charging by the turn rather than for the whole wheel.

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World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record

Neil 8

Re: Tesla S?

The difference is that this can recharge from its own solar panels - See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNSW_Sunswift

However (although I could have missed it) the article seems strangely silent on how long that would take exactly.

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Vodafone: SPOOKS are plugged DIRECTLY into our network

Neil 8

Err...

"If we receive a demand we can push back against the agency"

I suspect this really means, "If we receive a demand we can issue a quote and make sure we get paid for granting access"

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A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Neil 8

"The P7, however, is extravagantly well-crafted and boasts a slimmer profile"

If only there was some way to demonstrate this. Perhaps one day the internet will allow for pictures, if only on technology sites at first.

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X marks the... They SAID there was a mystery planet there – NASA

Neil 8

Planet X can probably be retired now we have the new catch-all of Dark Matter to blame for everything...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25177-did-dark-matter-kill-the-dinosaurs-maybe.html#.Ux3a-HV_sic

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PayPal mudslingfest TELEVISED: Icahn and Donahoe go on telly

Neil 8

And..

> eBay's continued success is largely due to it being the first point of call for auctions.

And it will remain the only point of call, thanks to owning ALL of the patents relating to any online auction process.

ALL of the patents.

http://stks.freshpatents.com/EBAY-sym.php?max=2000

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French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

Neil 8

Re: British Law

I think UK law varies a lot depending on if you're a hobbyist - Mostly common sense and contained within this doc:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP658%204%20Edition%20Amend%201%20June%202013.pdf

... Or doing "commercial aerial work", where the regulations & licensing seem to be more complex http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995&pageid=11213

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Million-dollar new disk tech could be USELESS for array vendors

This post has been deleted by a moderator

'I had a rare Twitter handle... I was extorted into giving it up'

Neil 8

High res mars pics

But... They do and already did release high res photos and all raw images. I posted the links the last time around.

Edit: Here - How much higher res did he want? These were available the day after it made the news.

http://tinyurl.com/nw2kjeu

The rest are here: http://tinyurl.com/bnm2z

And I'd say it's reasonable to suspect this image shows the hole in the ground that the rock was flicked up from: http://tinyurl.com/qg983lp

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Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Neil 8

Better pics here

NASA kindly make all of their raw images for spirit/opportunity (and MSL) available to all for free & practically in real time.

Opportunity raw images here: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/opportunity.html

And a particularly good shot of the mystery object here: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/m/3541/1M442544805EFFCAEOP2955M2M1.JPG

It's about time ESA did the same thing...

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Now THAT'S a sunroof: Solar-powered family car emerges from Ford labs

Neil 8

This car may not be for you

I know The Reg is based in the UK, but this is a Ford concept out of the USA, where there's no shortage of space (in most, but not all places) for parking & building concentrators at home or at work. There's also no shortage of sunlight for millions of potential buyers there.

Just because something might not work in central London doesn't mean it's a bad idea for everyone.

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Curiosity gets an OS upgrade, plans new round of selfies

Neil 8

Raw images for everyone

It's worth repeating that NASA put all of the raw images for this mission online almost immediately for anyone interested to look at:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/

The MAHLI camera is used for these wheel inspections - http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=490&camera=MAHLI

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Neil 8

Re: Legs v Wheels

What multi-leg technology existed in 2011 when this was launched?

The Boston Dynamics stuff is all absolute state of the art as we move into 2014 & seems to require more electrical power (via a petrol generator) than the rover can provide even now. I don't think we'll see robots running around mars just yet.

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ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

Neil 8

"There will likely continue to be alternatives to relying on an individual’s consent to process their personal information" - In which case the new rules probably still aren't strong enough...

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Neil 8

Re: Car analogy

Agreed: The FEAR of screwing up computers is a very strong limiting factor against tinkering, and not just for children. For me this is the absolutely critical difference between 'Today's Family Netbook' and the 8/16 bit computers many of us 30-somethings grew up with, it's not just about the cost.

If you totally, utterly screw up your Pi OS & don't know how to fix it, you can just stick in your backup SD card and carry on within 30 seconds. No harm done.

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Dixons preps home 3D printer for plastic-piping punters

Neil 8

Re: I'll buy one

A bit like this one?

http://hackaday.com/2013/03/05/finally-a-machine-that-makes-cheap-3d-printer-filament/

But if you read up on the Cube it's strongly implied that their refil carts feature DRM 'so that the printer knows how much filament is left' (AKA so that you can't just feed it cheap PLA from someone else)

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Engineer's $30m windfall from Nintendo 3DS patent spat SLASHED by beak

Neil 8

Re: Uhm...

Yeah that's very clever I'm sure. Except the 3DS doesn't use a Lenticular screen...

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

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Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

Neil 8

Quick question...

Who pays for the electricity that the smart meter itself consumes? I'm sure they're quite efficient blah blah blah, but just wondering...

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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

Neil 8

Re: Completely Wrong.

I think it's also wrong to assume that RealMoneyMail™ wouldn't take your money AND plunder your data or do whatever else they can to maximise profits.

Sky are all to happy to take a subscription fee AND show you adverts, for example...

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Kim Dotcom claims invention of two-factor authentication

Neil 8

Re: @asdf (was: This plonker claims to have invented the common or garden padlock?)

Correct. Jake is embarrassing himself by repeatedly insisting he's right when he's demonstrably not.

* A padlock opened only by a key (something you have) is 1-factor authentication.

* A padlock opened only by a pin (something you know) is 1-factor authentication.

* If you had a padlock with both, *that* would be two-factor authentication.

Claiming that the lock itself is a factor if authentication is just plain wrong: Making a payment with your chip & PIN card is 2-factor auth. Making a payment with a NFC 'tap to pay' card is 1 factor auth.

*Waits for Jake's downvote*

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Yahoo 'won't screw Tumblr'? Then Tumblr will screw its balance sheet

Neil 8
Stop

Enhanced user experience

"...seamless and enhance the user experience"

I understand that they have to add ads, fine. But... No experience in my lifetime has ever been enhanced by the addition of adverts, or likely ever will be. I suspect I'm not alone.

You have to wonder if these people *actually believe* what they're saying sometimes. I think I'd prefer if they knew it was bullshit, but I think they really might believe it...

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Retro-tech fan seeks cash for Commodore 64 clones

Neil 8

Already done, more or less...

This basically already exists in the Chameleon.

http://www.syntiac.com/chameleon.html

You can power it from USB (no actual C64 required) and have an FPGA-based C64 running cycle correct and plugged into a VGA monitor. You can even stick Amiga or Spectrum firmwares on the FPGA instead & have those running in hardware.

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Neil 8
Go

Re: "Something seems amiss."

Or you can stick a raspberry pi into a real C64 case, like I have here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-kvtKI-Tp4

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Congratulations, freetards: You are THE FIVE PER CENT

Neil 8

Re: Presumably because it's risk-free and saves a ton of money

Well, therein lies a very interesting question: Would the author apply the Freetard label to paying Netflix subscribers who are sitting in the UK watching US content?

I'm sure that commercially & probably legally, it's clear: Those people are viewing unlicensed content.

But to Andrew, is this THE SAME as piracy, or a grey area?

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Perfect sex minx calculated from 'deep' probe of X-rated flicks

Neil 8

Re: the perfectly average

I was going to post much the same thing. There are almost no fields in which you'd take a set of 'unusually gifted' people and proclaim that their average would be 'better' than any of the individuals.

You might argue that you average out the flaws, but you can't do that without averaging out the, err, peaks.

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Mystery martian object is relic of (our) civilisation

Neil 8

Re: another shitty black & white image?

Sure, there you go:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00062/mcam/0062ML0284001000E1_DXXX.jpg

However, that's as close as this camera can get, I think. Which is why they gave us the clearer but mono image from the other camera instead...

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The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Neil 8

Re: Jai, I agree but with this qualification......

"What do you do when it locks up tighter than a nun's knickers?"

Hold POWER+HOME until it powers off. Although this combo is detected by the OS if operational, after 10 seconds it's a hardware reset switch which cannot be prevented regardless of what's locked up. I imagine it's implemented this way *because* you can't just pull the battery.

I've had to do this a few times to a jailbroken iPod Touch.

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Yes, you can be sacked for making dodgy Facebook posts

Neil 8

Ah, I see: When you say "You" you actually mean "You if you work in the USA". Which a lot of your readers still don't.

In the UK it's common to see T&Cs that require you not to damage the reputation of your employer. But just lately the news seems to be full of employers embarrassing their staff...

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Zuck weds self to lady friend in surprise ceremony

Neil 8

A good question is asked over at the BBC:

"But, hey Mark, why did you not do what you tell the rest of us to do, and share your plans with your Facebook friends a few months ago?" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18142566

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UK.gov to require YOU to opt out of data-sharing plan with drug firms

Neil 8

"opting NHS patients into its data-sharing plans would help remove delays within the system"

This really is double-speak at its worst: "Opt: To make a choice or decision from a range of possibilities"

If the proposed system had any credibility they'd have the courage of conviction to rely on opt-in on a per-patient basis.

What's proposed instead is that all data is stolen and re-sold, with patients later given some (most likely obscure) mechanism to opt out. It's clearly not compatible with either the spirit or the letter of DP laws to use people's medical data in this way.

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iPhone 4S is for failures who work in coffee shops - Samsung

Neil 8

When the S2 battery runs flat...

I stick another one in. It doesn't take a (certified Apple) Genius.

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Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

Neil 8

Nope.

The 125cc bikes I had will do 60ish on L-plates & were entirely legal.

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London bus timings mobile beta site spotted

Neil 8

Small/Regional?

The West Midlands has a population of over 5 million, so they'll need a different excuse.

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X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Neil 8

3DS - Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Got a 3DS? Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a distant relative of XCOM too, created by the same designer.

It's no XCOM really (the strategy / R&D is effectively removed), but the turn-based shooting is good fun & the 3DS graphics quite nice.

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Duke Nukem Forever

Neil 8

Err, no.

The ".0" is part of the title in the UK, so one is the name of the film, the other isn't.

Again, 7.5 on IMDB and 69% on Metacritic means that you are not speaking for "Most people" (I have never claimed to...)

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Neil 8

Letters and digits

Saw, you mean?

Yes, I like both of those films. They rate 7.5 and 7.2 on the generally quite critical IMDB so I'm by no means alone.

I think many of the comments about the outdatedness of DNF could and should be equally applied to those films, but it doesn't hurt their objective ratings like it apparently does with the game here.

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Neil 8

Not that bad

It's all about your expectations isn't it?

I have the PC version. So far I've played about 30-40 mins and it's been pretty much what I expected. it's been fun so far. I don't feel ripped off and I really don't feel it's a 40% game. I put it in the same category as Die Hard 4.0 or the new Rambo film. It's meant for an audience who buy retro stuff and that includes me. If you know what you're getting yourself into, you'll probably enjoy it.

I was honestly *far* more disappointed to have paid full price for Crysis 2 this year: That has pretty graphics, can be played in full 3D on my TV & got fantastic reviews - but that feels like a very generic & linear shooter to me, which isn't what I was expecting at all.

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Smartphones eat games handhelds and cameras for lunch

Neil 8

'Second Camera'

This also ignores the fact that a lot of DSLR owners probably also have an iPhone. So, it might just be a graph showing 'which camera people had on their person when the photo opportunity arose'.

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Brits won't get PSP price cut, says Sony

Neil 8
Stop

Compulsory to choose what you lose

It's true that the firmware upgrade wasn't compulsory, but if you don't do it then you can't play games online, which is also one of the features people paid for.

So, having paid your money for both features, you're given the choice of losing Unix or losing online games. Making a choice was compulsory.

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Sprint introduces $10 smartphone premium

Neil 8

ISPs don't want to sell bits & bytes.

Weirdly, in the UK you can often get a fairer deal like this with PAYG and avoid getting capped or ripped off with excessive per MB fees.

For example on Three you can pay £10, £15 or £20 for 1, 3 or 5GB (I think). If you use it all before the end of a month, your access stops & you can chose to pay again or not.

I'd happily pay for an un-capped home connection by the GB like this too if I had the option (though the amounts would have to be higher!)

But here's the thing: ISPs and Mobile companies REALLY hate the idea of selling you bits & bytes. They want to sell you internet access *products*. Packages. Deals. 1000 minutes. *Unlimited* data. This way, nobody is quite sure what they're buying or using. Most customers are paying for more than they use, and anyone using more than average is 'not playing fair' and gets beaten up.

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Archos 43 16GB Android PMP

Neil 8

Not a good deal.

I'm pretty platform agnostic in that I've got an iPod Touch, but use a Milestone (now with Froyo beta) as my main phone.

I don't understand why this thing, with a resistive touchscreen, no google apps and no Android Market, no flash, would score so highly: You're getting a crippled Android experience compared to, say, an Orange San Francisco which you can go out & get for £99 from Argos & then never top up again.

It doesn't really compete with an iPod Touch either. You can get the 8gb iPod for a similar price which yes, has half the storage, but has a proper touchscreen and access to the entire iPhone app store.

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National Identity Card holding chumps have buyer's remorse

Neil 8

Not much sympathy for Ms Epstein

I have a fair bit of sympathy for the average Joe who paid for a card in good faith that it would be useful to them personally & last 10 years, I suppose.

Ms Epstein, though, doesn't deserve a refund any more than anyone else who bets on a lame horse. She was first in the queue to hand over her rights so she could be the public face of ID cards, and can't pretend that she didn't know the cards were politically unpopular and destined to be scrapped following a reasonably likely change of government.

See it as a £30 donation to our financially troubled government, Ms Epstein.

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Apple MacBook Air 11.6in sub-notebook

Neil 8

$999 != £850

Great, but it's a UK review: £850 is actually $1,350, while £999 is $1,585 today.

Does it still look as good value for that price?

Or to look at it the other way around, $999 is £630. If it was selling for that price in the UK then it may not have attracted the same comments in the first place...

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UK energy industry mugs customers

Neil 8

Growth...

Business success is defined only by growth, so it's almost inevitable that we'll end up paying more for less where energy is concerned.

I believe we *should* use less energy where we can, but let's be honest - When an energy company encourages you to do it, it's in the hope that you won't notice the unit price of energy increasing quite so much.

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UK hacker fined for personnel database mischief

Neil 8

Sort of...

Gagging clauses are unenforcable in certain circumstances now. Not that HR types will be too worried...

http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/news/1017963/Pay-secrecy-policies-need-close-scrutiny-Equality-Act-2010-comes-force/

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Apple states tax take on UK iPod pricing

Neil 8

I suppose...

The best argument I ever saw *for* this otherwise blatant over-charging was that in reality, we have stronger consumer laws in Europe than the USA. Ultimately, guess who pays for the protection?

A case in point is the PS3 - When Sony disabled OtherOS functionality, here people were entitled to refunds & compensation if they could sensibly argue they bought their device to run Linux.

If your iPod stops working before a 'reasonable' amount of time has passed - i.e. 11 months from now, you get a 'free' repair/replacement in the UK with the supplier (not the manufacturer) being liable. I don't think that's the case in the US, as I understand it.

My final example is where I saw this whole argument in the first place: There was an issue with a particular laptop suffering from dodgy lid hinges after 6 months of use. In the UK, the supplier would be liable for getting these hinges fixed with items of merchentable quality - Much to the surprise of US buyers of the same laptop, who I believe were landed with the cost of replacement.

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