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* Posts by Dr Trevor Marshall

64 posts • joined 7 Jun 2007

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Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights

Dr Trevor Marshall

What about the children?

Indeed, this is one time they do need to think about the children, and those sick amongst us, who will now be cooped up inside a Faraday cage with hundreds of cellphones emitting full power trying to access a working cell-site. What a human disaster in the making.. As if WiFi (at 10,000 times the required power level) was not bad enough...

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Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Up

Re: Yay, usable maps again

Thanks for that tip. I will use IE8 when I want to use MAPS. The new interface is an abomination, and, as you say, they serve up the good ol' one for IE8. Thanks :) And no thanks to Google for second-guessing that I like their new menu-less interface. I don't. It sucks. It has made me shift to Bing Maps. But now there is a pathway back to what works so well -- thanks Google :)

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Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Down

I would buy if it didn't have Google services pre-installed

I am fed up with Google wasting my battery and tracking my every move. I was looking at this phone to break free to Cyanogenmod and the F-Droid store. Thanks to Andrew for letting us know that is still a pipe-dream...

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WiGag war: Tiny low-power chip promises mobes 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

Re: Fingers crossed - Medical devices in 60GHz ISM band

There are a number of Eastern European medical devices in the WiGig frequency range which use nanowatts of power to affect the nerves and brain. They mostly evolved from USSR research. We may have gotten away with Wifi so far, no real evidence of negative interactions with human beings (so far), but IMO there is a disaster looming at WiGig frequencies and powers. So, as you say, "cross fingers."

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

Image for Windows

Terabyte Unlimited's "Image for Windows" also works with Linux. Boots from HiRen's recovery USB or floppy, or CD. Creates an image file(s) which can be booted. Best for System disks/partitions but will do a complete drive, if you wish.

I have never needed any other solution. I run an automatic backup every night with it. Saved my bacon several times.

Also good for porting operating systems intact to a new hard disk.

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SPACE VID: Watch JUMBO ASTEROID 2000 EM26 buzzing Earth

Dr Trevor Marshall

Live Video was great on CHROME, "please wait" on FIREFOX

At least that was what I found. After the live broadcast had ended everybody would have been watching the same recording.

So was the 'fault' in YouTube, in the way Slooh set up the live broadcast (there are user configuration toggles in the interface), or in Flash player??

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Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

Dr Trevor Marshall

Android 2.3.6 is an adequately functioning Smartphone OS

@Andrew Jones 2

I am running 2.3.6. on a Galaxy Note N7000 with all the Samsung and Google bloat removed (including Maps) and, while the phone is sitting on the shelf updating emails (K9) over WiFi and monitoring Google Voice (GrooveIP) it uses 10% of its battery a day. So there is nothing magical about the new OS releases. Except that the old releases don't get vulnerabilities patched (by Google).

However, one reason I stay with 2.3.6 is that Google has been progressively locking all users into its ecosystem with each release, I don't want to be locked into any Google ecosystem, Sorry. I value my privacy. And I prefer the older, menu-configurable systems, not the new UI. Sorry. That's just me. I have been in computer programming too long, I guess...

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Dr Trevor Marshall

This time Microsoft has gone too far

I can't help thinking about Ebenezer Scrooge. Not sure why...

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Sony denies Vaio-to-Lenovo rumour

Dr Trevor Marshall

"Is innacurate"?

What about "unfounded" or "fantasy"? Most PR hacks don't allege "inaccuracy" if there is any other word to choose. Of course, there may be a problem translating the Japanese to unequivocal English...

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Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Up

Most US consumers have only one ISP - there is no choice

Thanks for this perspective, Andrew. I haven't had time to read the actual ruling, and your summary was very useful. The real problem is that most US consumers only have one broadband provider. This allows a company like Verizon to offer me 15/5 FIOS internet, their lowest speed, for only $74.95 (base) per month. I can get a discount to $49.95 the first year, but then my bill automatically changes to $74.95 plus router, plus taxes and fees. An ADSL feed required me to maintain a dry-line phone number, which was $65 per month with ISP costs on top of that. Some consumers have cable, where it is possible to keep the bill around $50 per month, provided one has some negotiating skills and doesn't mind a low 3/1 data rate.

Despite paying Verizon the $80 monthly fees, if I try to stream a 1080p YouTube video I find the data rate roughly half that of the 720p version (my router logs connection speed). Is it throttling? Yes, most likely, as no similar effect can be noticed on my cable modem feed from a different ISP. So throttling is a public issue, even now... for me, at least...

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KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

Dr Trevor Marshall

Verizon USA knows your passwords

Verizon USA FIOS routers have a backdoor for tech support, which is well-documented. But recently, when I logged into my Verizon web account to check my billing balance, I saw that my WIFI WPA2 password was recorded there in plain text, I switched ISP. It is just unbelievable how any ISP could surreptitiously harvest my WiFi password into their database. To say nothing of the threat to my WiFi network, knowing my WPA2 password would make social engineering of my internal network passwords much, much, easier.

And yes, I know Google does it with Android devices. I have given those devices their own DMZ.

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

Gifts from the Gods (while walking in the meadows)

Well, bird poop is pretty bad, but I really wouldn't like any of that electrolyte tumbling down on my head :)

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Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

Dr Trevor Marshall

Lenovo ships Windows 7, with optional Win 8 'upgrade'

No surprise why it is getting the sales increase. Guess what ACER and ASUS were trying to foist upon the end user :)

Oh - and the Lenovo BIOS also supports Win XP and Linux Drivers. UEFI can be bypassed, although it is uncertain whether selecting legacy Bios disables rootkit pathways in UEFI :)

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Post-BT crypto guru Schneier gets new gig at startup

Dr Trevor Marshall

Twofish (double-wrapped with AES) gives us a tiny, tiny, chance of true privacy. Thanks for all your efforts, Bruce, and your honesty.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Dr Trevor Marshall

My smartphone emulates my beloved HP41

I have Andsens HP41 simulator on my android smartphone. I use it almost daily. ( a41CV.apk ). It even runs my old programs...

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Firefox's plugin-blocker slams into beta - but don't jump for joy, Flash haters

Dr Trevor Marshall

FLASHblock also blocks the FLASH advertisements

I bet that is why Mozilla don't want to 'protect' us from FLASH. Can't upset the advertisers. Oh well, as long as Flashblock continues to work as a plugin...

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RIP Bill Lowe: Father of the IBM PC no longer reading drive C

Dr Trevor Marshall

Kelly Smith died of Cancer several years ago

Incidentally, the engineer who produced Tandon Computer's clone BIOS, Kelly Smith, died several years ago from cancer. After Tandon, Kelly worked on the Phoenix BIOS at Phoenix's 'skunk works' in Hawaii. Another sad loss to the industry...

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Dr Trevor Marshall

Yes, indeed. I have a box containing QDOS 86 on my shelf

And it worked, although Microsoft had to get out quite a few bugs.

An excellent article, BTW. Accurate. RIP Mr Lowe. You changed the world...

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Chinese hotel guests find data spaffed all over the internet

Dr Trevor Marshall

Travel - it's like that...

Whether in Brussels or Beijing, I always prefer tethered 3G to WiFi. If I use WiFi, it is behind a VPN (usually my own server).

As for giving " name, address, workplace, ID number, birth date and phone number just to register for Wi-Fi" -- who would be silly enough to do that in this day and age? Birth date?

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Dr Trevor Marshall

Google will save the world. While perhaps doing only a little evil.

Google will support those who fail to migrate (at least with a competent browser). I have no doubt that other software suppliers will follow Google's lead.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Down

Software *UPGRADE*?

Sammy is pushing out the 'fix' in a software 'upgrade' for older phones?

Grab the popcorn - but after you have switched off automatic updates on your own phone...

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PC market hits the ropes, but Lenovo's still standing

Dr Trevor Marshall

We are seeing Lenovo riding Windows 8's coat-tails

I bought Lenovo Thinkpads as they offered drivers fro Windows XP and Windows 7, and came with Windows 7 pre-installed, not Windows 8. Plus they have a Legacy Bios mode as well as the UEFI.

I guess I was not alone in avoiding Windows 8....

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Lost phone? Google's got an app for that, coming this month

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: How do I get rid of this BLOAT - I don't want it

Oops - I didn't mean to imply that ALL Android users are twits - only those who are incapable of downloading this new app as a conscious mental task...

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Dr Trevor Marshall

How do I get rid of this BLOAT - I don't want it

I am sick and tired of Google pushing bloat at me through Google Play. Google ought not to be able to do this without me being asked "Do you want this."

I just spent an hour tracking down "Google Settings" which got pushed last week and which takes up CPU cycles and battery power by searching periodically through my phone memory, allegedly to find compromized apks. It popped up on my power monitoring 'radar' long before I read that Google was pushing it in the background.

STOP this, Google. I am sure that the twits who use Android think it is great, but I think the concept of pushing apps silently at my phone is BRAINDEAD.

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Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

@PartTimeLegend: "They should have killed XP support in 2007"

they did. But then the netbooks came along - with LINUX. To stop that trend MS came up with a sweetheart XP license for netbooks, and thus extended the life (and reach) of XP.

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Vinyl sales reach 15 year high, Blighty becomes No. 3 music buyer

Dr Trevor Marshall
Holmes

@MakesSense

I spend a lot of time listening to Radio Caroline these days...

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How to survive a UEFI BOOT-OF-DEATH on Samsung laptops

Dr Trevor Marshall
Unhappy

Re: Where are the real BIOS programmers ?

Kelly Smith, who wrote the early Tandon clone-BIOS, and worked on Phoenix BIOS, died several years ago.

Not many of my old friends have survived the decades.. and the new generation of software programmers tend to work in a team... not as loners, solely responsible for whether their BIOS worked, or not...

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Cyberspies send ZOMBIES to steal DRUGS from medical research firms

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

The $1Bn is mostly spent on FDA paperwork

The $1Bn is mostly spent on FDA paperwork and therefore this alleged cyber-espionage is pointless.

I don't believe the pretext of this report. It is much simpler to attend the scientific conferences -- where the scientists who invented these drugs squeal like stuck pigs. Any info about a new drug is available there - except the $1Bn to pay the FDA, and except that the patent claims have usually been filed. Although the scientists are often apt to disclose weaknesses in the patents, too, with a little bit of alcoholic lubrication...

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

I still have four Lenovo S10 netbooks

I started with four - and all are still going strong. Running XP Home. An excellent and solid OS, once I stripped out all the bloatware. I switched off half the silly services that MS provides, which improved security, and these netbooks can do all my odd-jobs. One is monitoring the IP security cameras all day. One travels with me wherever I go, and two do odd jobs such as run test equipment software and interface with my Li-Ion battery tester.

The strange thing is that the low-end i3 rubbish being sold in many ultrabooks right now really isn't that much faster than these old atoms... and a lot more expensive. But then, they have to run Windows 8, don't they. I quite forgot...

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Al Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV news network

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

Keith Olbermann may make out like a bandit

Depends on the status of those huge stock options he got when he joined Current :)

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2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

My four Lenovo S10 are ideal for travel -- and around-the-house

My main Lenovo S10 is perfect for travel. Small, light, and dare I say - disposable - (easily replaced if stolen or seized by customs). Its new SSD makes it run beautifully fast . Its new USB3 expresscard makes it really fast to external mass storage. Another S10 is used to monitor the IP-based security system around our house. One is currently used to log output from battery chargers and miscellaneous test equipment. They are reliable, and perfectly capable of acting as functional backup to my quad-core desktops. If I need a better monitor or keyboard, I have only to connect them to the S10 I/O... But I don't use them for writing books...

An Ultrabook? With a Core 3? what does that offer me?

Oh - the S10 all are running Windoze XP. I initially equipped them with a dual-boot to Linux, but ended up rarely using that capability... And now I suppose you are going to tell me that a decades worth of XP app development is going to instantly vanish in 2014 ???

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The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

Dr Trevor Marshall
WTF?

Android is Linux - Use the shell

Anything substantial I do in Android, whether it is moving files with 'Root Explorer', making a User app into a Systems app by shifting it from /data/app to /system/app, or managing permissions, everything substantive is Linux. I use 'Terminal' for nandroid backup. I use 'Terminal' to run 'top' or any one of dozens of familiar utilities. It is just that the average user is content to ignore the operating system entirely, and backup is left to the geeks amongst us... (same as windows users in that way).

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Wikimedia UK trustee quits amid conflict-of-interest row

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

Halfwit? That's mild

Halfwit is mild ... My own bio page was defaced continuously for three years before Jimbo Wales made the decision that I "wasn't notable." All sorts of stuff got edited in. That I had young male Thai sex slaves -- you wouldn't believe what I would wake up to reading some mornings.

Wikipedia really needs more discipline when handling the troublesome editors - those that hack away at "improving" the bios of living people...

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Conflict-of-interest scandal could imperil Wikimedia charity status

Dr Trevor Marshall
WTF?

Ah, I see - I should have offered money...

Now I get it. When Jimmy Wales got involved in the deletion of my Bio page, I should have offered money, and not abuse. We live and learn....

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'Google strangled Acer phone using Alibaba Android rival at birth'

Dr Trevor Marshall

I'm waiting for a phone OS that doesn't piss away all your data to anyone who asks

I have my phone locked down so that it doesn't send anything I don't want it too, and "AppTraffic" (inter alia) to detect sneaky apps. But you have to root the Android, Null all the Ads, and be ever vigilant. But isn't the same with any computer OS?

But if you want to use Twitter and Facebook (etc) then you are totally out of luck...

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IEEE admits its MS-DOS history revisionist is in Microsoft's pay

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

Patents were not such a big deal, 30 years ago

The whole software world was 'borrowing' from each other back then. I have 86-DOS, CP/M, Cromemco DOS, SuperSoft DOS, and DR-DOS on my bookshelf, and used to run them all. They probably still boot in my old systems, although I rolled my own customized 'DOS' and that is what boots these days, when I blow the dust off the old Z80 and 8086 boxes...

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Bill Gates, Harry Evans and the smearing of a computer legend

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

IEEE is just a shadow of its former self

I spent a significant part of my life disassembling and understanding how CP/M, 86-DOS and CDOS worked internally. I wrote an IEEE Spectrum article in the 70's explaining a neat trick that the CDOS (Cromemco DOS clone) originated to optimize floppy disk read routines to the Z80 instruction set.

It is hard to believe that Spectrum would publish something like this when there are so many with actual expertize still alive to peer-review junk like this...

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6 London boroughs haul all their kit to 1 Oracle biz product

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

"negotiate a better price" WTF?

Anytime one has to negotiate with a monopoly, one is going to get burned...

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Java won the smartphone wars (and nobody noticed)

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

"get their phones to last to teatime"?

I have a Galaxy Note N7000, and in standby, running GrooveIP and K9 push-mail, it draws about half a percent per hour on WiFi and 2% per hour on 3G (depending on celltower proximity). When running apps, 90% of the battery drain is the screen, which has nothing to do with Java.

I don't agree that Java is battery-hungry. Sloppy coding is battery-hungry.

Oh, I do have Samsung Media Hub, and all the other nice Samsung bloatware, disabled (frozen with Titanium Backup). Still using Gingerbread -- at least until they can make ICS drain less than 1% per hour (LOL)

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Skyhook offers 'Always-On' background STALKING feature

Dr Trevor Marshall
Black Helicopters

I keep an eye on my applications

On Android, most background programs can be listed under "Settings>Applications>Running Services" from the home screen.

An application called "AppTraffic" keeps track of all data used, and which program used it, since the last reboot. I found this invaluable in finding out "who phones home" and the amount of data they communicate.

Incidentally, Google Play and Google Maps run background services you can't stop. Bad Google... But you can turn off GPS when you aren't using it, and that will stop Google Maps from using much CPU, or sending much data. Google Play has to be terminated from the Running Services screen. Unlike maps, it doesn't automatically restart until you run it, or reboot.

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Trojan sneaks into hotel, slurps guests' credit card data

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Up

My Credit Card was compromised this way (most probably)

Last week my CC was used to buy a train ticket in London, even though I was in the US at the time. Previous week I had been staying at a smaller hotel in Paris. CC company caught the fraudulent use and cancelled the card. A couple of days later a hotel in Spain emails to tell me the same credit card, which I had used as a reservation guarantee, was no longer valid. They must be pulling the card every few weeks to check...

Yes, the smaller hotels are a major weakness in the CC system, I think...

.

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Up

Where is the Fortran?

The Nevada Fortran for my Z80 CP/M machine ran nicely in 64K. Should be a doddle in the Pi, except we all seem to have forgotten how to program in 64K of memory..

I was looking at an old database I once wrote for 64K, and was amazed to recall that all the hash tables were saved on 8 inch Floppy, yet the interactive response was quite acceptable... Sigh... Those were the days...

,

.

Yes, I know the Kids are taught Matlab these days... Sigh again...

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El Reg posts dirty pics for old computer buffs

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

"ECC83?" nope, in the REAL world they were 12AX7 (or it could be 12AT7)...

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Windows XP support ends two years from now

Dr Trevor Marshall
Stop

I just bought a spare XP mother board

You know - one with a real BIOS in it, that will run my XP beyond 2014, even if my current hardware kicks the bucket.

I have 20 years of software collected on my Windows computer, some of which I only occasionally use, some of which I use every day (like Eudora, still the email with best immunity to Trojans).

I also run various flavors of Linux, but I am proud to be one of the 4% XP hangers-on because so much of my development and test software runs on XP :)

Happy Easter, all...

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West Australian WiFi mesh sniffs out bushfires

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: 25Km per node???

Everybody knows that a good sensor can smell fire 25Km away. It's not mental, just supernatural...

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Extended software support 'immoral and indefensible'

Dr Trevor Marshall
Stop

Only one question. What is it going to cost to 'support' my Windows XP machines beyond 2014? Will it be cheaper / safer to use Android and Linux on my internet-facing boxes, and XP only on my video development machines?

You get the picture. Why talk in the abstract? One company is responsible for outlandish behavior in extended support. Name them and shame them -- for an outdated and wasteful business model...

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Ubuntu for Android: Penguins peck at Nokia's core problem

Dr Trevor Marshall
Happy

Re: Re: Elop wrong?

My rooted, bloatware-stripped, Samsung Galaxy Note uses 1% of battery per hour when sitting on WiFi running GrooveIP. It's got a powerful, responsive, dual CPU -- but no power penalty.

I hooked it up to an HDMI monitor, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard yesterday. Even Android ain't a bad desktop when displaying on a big monitor, at 1280x800 :)

I am a happy camper... Maybe Ubuntu can make me happier... Time will tell...

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Kodak heading to Chapter 11

Dr Trevor Marshall

Sigh. I have a collection of good Kodak Digitals..

I own the following Kodak digital cameras. All were class-leading in their day. The V1253 was one of the first point and shoots which actually took decent 720p movies...

C875 - still my reference when evaluating landscape color balance

V1253 - first P&S with 720p and stereo mics

V1073 - still one of the best low-light movie P&S cameras

Z1012 IS superzoom 12X with HD movie capture

I don't use them much anymore, my LX5 tends to be in my pocket. But I can't pack the Kodaks away into the archives. Each was a wonderful digital camera in its day, and still does a decent job... It is amazing how such a huge company can absolutely fail at 'marketing 101'

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Wikipedia simplifies article editing for world+dog

Dr Trevor Marshall
Thumb Down

Vanadalism and hate-speech are endemic

"vandalism edits can be undone simply and quickly, vandal IP addresses blocked easily too and there's also countless bots trawling through recent edits to find vandalism. If someone adds something to Wikipedia, it's a doddle to source it and keep it or disprove it and remove it in minutes."

Sure... I call this BS... When my bio was being repeatedly vandalized, the big Cuhuna himself figured it was easier to delete the bio itself, rather than argue with a few hate-mongering WP editors. Jimmy Wales himself knows how dysfunctional the WP community is, and he doesn't seem to care...

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TomTom axes 10% of workforce

Dr Trevor Marshall
FAIL

TomTom => Dodo

TomTom saw 'piracy' on the WinCE IPAQ smartphone version it released some years ago. 'Once bitten, twice shy' was the wrong metaphor to apply, however. Refusing to put TomTom on Android has made me switch to other vendors, including Google. Google is not as good at routing as TomTom, but gives you the info you need to get from point A to point B (the distance to the next turn being paramount, IMO). It may be too late for Tomtom to react to the changing market. I would have bought TomTom for Android at $100 a year ago, not so sure I would now... I used Google Navigator on a recent trip to Australia and Singapore without any problems... And TomTom doesn't even allow you easy access to foreign maps (oh - did anybody tell TomTom's MBA's that travel patterns have changed in the last decade?)

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