* Posts by JC_

368 posts • joined 9 Mar 2011

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It's enough to get your back up: Eight dual-bay SOHO NAS boxes

JC_

Re: Comparative reviewing

Also, does it have stupidly bright LEDs that are annoying when watching a movie?

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JC_

Re: Just wondering...

Cryptolocker targets network shares that are mapped to a local drive, so \\MyNas\MyFiles would be fine but Z:\MyFiles would be toast.

However, as people have pointed out, RAID isn't backup - it just helps availability. What you need are copies of the files over time, so as CryptoXXX creates encrypted, current versions, the old copies are untouched and can be used in the restoration.

At home we use CrashPlan for this. When Cryptolocker first broke out, they reportedly came up with a utility to make restoring from a point in time (i.e. pre-infection) a bit easier.

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And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

JC_
Thumb Down

Re: Good news for us all !

I don't recall ever finding anything I saw on Top Gear particularly offensive.

It's one of those things - you don't know what it's like to be on the end of prejudice until you are.

In my case, as a white, straight, educated middle-class male who likes sport, this lightening bolt hit when I experienced how much so many Brits irrationally hate other people who happen to be on a bicycle.

Clarkson is one of the pricks that encourages drivers to act like inconsiderate bastards, rather than people who have the rather awesome responsibility of the lives and safety of others in their hands.

Sod the repetitive prick, until he changes his record I hope his 'new' show drops like a turd.

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

JC_

Re: @Spartacus

The problem with enforcement is that there is none. LTDA boasts about how successful it is at getting drivers off on the few occasions that they are ticketed. Despite being a tiny part of the transport network they have outsize representation on the TfL board. 30,000 drivers are represented; half a million cyclists aren't.

Traffic enforcement ought to be enforced by a body separate from the police and council, so that effective enforcement doesn't affect how motorists view these groups; basically, it needs to be done by a technocratic group that don't care if (bad) drivers think that they're bastards.

Secondly, enforcement needs to actually happen. For that there needs to be an objective measure of how bad the driving is; if, for example, a sample of red-light cameras show violations above a threshold, then up goes the enforcement strictness so that it's brought down.

Finally, give the enforcement agents some real encouragement: 10% of the fines as a commission!

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Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

JC_

Re: Let's be clear about one thing

"You don't want your swap file on an SSD, unless you want to kill it early ..."

The last SSD endurance test I saw had the first device failing after 0.75 Petabytes of writes, while the others were approaching 2PB. With that kind of endurance and their ever increasing capacity, it's pretty unlikely that the swap file will cause a problem.

Every laptop in our office came with an SSD and only one of them (mine!) has a regular HDD, as well. Along with every phone and tablet around, they all swap to SSD and the manufacturers seem to be happy with that.

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JC_

Re: Let's be clear about one thing

And as for disk space, your OS on one disk, your data on another with the swap file. Been working like that since Win95 and I've never seen any reason to do otherwise.

SSDs. Your reason has arrived (and been waiting some time for your attention).

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JC_
Windows

Gather your data, stick in a new HDD (or be bold/foolish and wipe the current one), new OS, the software you actually need, and finally restore your data

This bit is the sticking point - having to call up the vendors and hope that they'll let you 'activate' another time with the same license key. Penance for not obeying RMS, I know, I know...

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Wearable fitness tech: Exercising your self-motivation skills

JC_

Re: On yer bike!

" I have been cycling 24 miles a day in London from zone 4 to Holborn and back - its awesome!"

You've been breathing the fumes too deeply - cycling in London sucks! It's better than the alternatives, but could be so much better with a little investment and some traffic enforcement.

Anyway, good on you for cycling so much and staying chipper - I do 22 miles per day and find that a grind by the end of the week or earlier when the cabs/weather/plane trees misbehave.

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Microsoft to TAKE OUT THE TRASH in the Windows Store

JC_

"do not offer unique content, creative value or utility."

A flashlight app that works the same as the others but doesn't require access to my phonebook, dialer etc. has a lot of value to me, but will it to MS?

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Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

JC_

It's a commute, not a race! E-bikes are a brilliant idea for getting people out on a bike when they don't have the strength (or motivation) to cycle hard.

In my experience in London it's not the hills that hurt, since there aren't many, but the traffic lights. 70 of them between home and work mean a lot of standing starts and tired legs by the end of the week.

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Smile! Brit transport plods turn bodycams on travelling public

JC_

Re: Who is Kidding Who?@ handle

In a society with over 2m people unemployed and an unfunded state pension, and a budget deficit, the "cost" to the rest of society is negative. The Department against Transport use a circa £1.2m "willing to pay" value for road deaths that is totally spurious, but even then we're talking less than £5bn. That's the tragic thing for lefties about maths - the answers are often wrong and have to be made up.

£34 billion. That's the government estimate of value of prevention of road accidents. Where does your £5bn number come from? Did you make it up?

Also, how much would you demand from a drunken driver to compensate for just one year of your child's life?

Well, again we enter the realm of made up numbers. Funny thing is, when I blow my nose after a trip on the underground, all this black snot comes out. When I look at the crap spewed out by the average bus or taxi, looks a lot worse than the pollution from cars, and the emissions per passenger km support the visual observation. Are health conditions less bad when the pollution comes from public transport?

London 'black snot' is brake dust. In this case, what you see can't hurt you - your nasal mucus has trapped the particles and no harm has been done.

What can and will kill you are the small particulates that you can't see and lodge in your lungs. They will cause cardiovascular disease. Not seeing them won't help; children in the seventies could not see the lead in exhaust fumes but it damaged their brains nevertheless..

Being a fat b@stard has far more to do with eating too much crap than it does with exercise. Do the maths (again).

Exercise has next to nothing to do with it. The 'obesogenic environment' in which we live does.

Don't be so naive.

Indeed.

Perhaps you should not be so smug about naiveté yourself.

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JC_

Re: Who is Kidding Who?

The roads are even more heavily subsidised - and vastly less efficient as a method of transporting people, unless they're on bicycles.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

JC_

Re: Upper- and middle-class

to use such a huge catch-all as "tattoos are so ugly" I find rather sad.

True, but if he'd just the qualifier 'most' then he'd be quite right (and I say that as someone with a tattoo and plenty of scars).

Not many look good to start with (IMHO) but zero of them improve with age - skin sags, inks fade and regret often sinks in.

Hopefully the woman with the post-masectomy tattoos will want them all her life.

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JC_

Re: Hardly a bug, is it...

The issue here is more around if Apple know / knew about this issue before his purchase

Putting on my dev hat, this really doesn't count as an "issue". If someone wearing a nose ring gets it tangled up in a towel (yes, really) we wouldn't call on towel manufacturers to sort it out for them, and the same goes here.

On the bright side, mums and dads will finally have an argument to use against sleeve tattoos that their darlings will consider.

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Microsoft vs AWS: If you can't bark with the BIG DOGS get off the PORCH

JC_

Re: propaganda journalism

Crass partisanship and hero worship of specific technologies or companies based solely on ideology and technological ignorance is stupid and a waste of space

Indeed...

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

JC_

Don't Like the IRS? Blame Intuit.

One reason the IRS can't do things to simplify tax is because Intuit vociferously lobbies against it.

Comically, Intuit claims that easy filing would hurt the poor.

Not to be conspiracy-minded, but some corporations and one political party in the US have a vested interest in making government look incompent, and they do their very best to achieve this. Blame them, not the IRS.

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

JC_

Re: Top Marks

(Also liked the Daft Punk putdown too - weren't they briefly top ten material about 15 years or so ago?

What cave were you living in in 2013? "Get Lucky" was huge and is a pretty catchy tune - check it out with Stephen Colbert and tell me you don't like it :)

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

JC_

Re: Criminal acts...

"disorderly conduct" is on the books in the US, not the UK, the same as "lewd and lascivious behavior". Besides which, Channel 4 isn't a court of law and she wasn't on trial.

Otherwise, a certain US football player would have been able to squash the video of him knocking out his fiancee at a Casino.

That went to court, right? Not just to television? This was broadcast for titillation and it just isn't on. There's no defence.

I've seen girls pissing in the street during Hogmanay and felt a bit self-righteous about it, but to put it in the public domain would never cross my mind. People make mistakes and any punishment has to be proportionate to the harm done.

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JC_

Re: Criminal acts...

Why did the comment by =5 got downvoted, without anyone having the courtesy of explaining their disagreement?

'Cause it's impossible to explain and so very easy to press the downvote link?

Presumably all the down-voters think that eternal, public humiliation is a proportionate response to the situation, rather than simply paying a fine for punishment and compensation for the actual damage done.

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Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

JC_

Re: Waiddaminnit!

"Why the down votes people?"

Trolling with "Micros~1" and "Insecure Exposer" I'd guess. Same as using "Crapple" and similar playground insults, it marks out a time-waster.

"The only thing about IE that can be "removed" is the front end that fires it up in a browser window that you see."

How should a developer display HTML in a Windows application, which is a common thing to do? Should they include the source for Chromium instead of using the built-in HTML renderer of the OS?

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Cheer up UK mobile grumblers. It's about to get even pricier

JC_

No Lack of Hyperbole Here

Brussels' muddled competition policy has reflected the worst of all possible worlds.

Worse than Mexico, where America Movil has over 70% market share which costs Mexico an estimated "$25 billion per year" and which has made its owner the richest man in the world?

In fact, which large country has a better competition policy than the EU?

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Ski MOUNT DOOM or take top coffee to the beach? Your choice

JC_

It always amazes me when folk from abroad rock up in a new job in a country they have never lived in before and start talking about "work/life balance".

I think that's unduly harsh on the interviewee. Anyone that gives up a chunk of pay is doing it for something that's more valuable to them, such as time off and a view of the sea instead of the A40.

Poms will know they are making progress on the integration front when they are referred to as a Brit rather than a Pom, its a big step up.

Any kiwi that keeps on referring to an ex-pat as a 'Pom' is being a dick. If you're in the habit of doing this, then please stop as you're embarrassing the rest of us.

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Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

JC_

Re: PR is the special olympics of electoral systems - you get elected just for turning up.

I'd like to see 50/50 split in parliament between PR and FPtP and everyone get two votes, one for each section.

That's exactly what Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) is and what it will give you. Half the seats in parliament are electoral ones and the balance are allocated to ensure each party's proportion of members closely matches its proportion of votes.

There can of course be slight variations when the seats are allocated - for example, a stand-alone candidate who scrapes through will likely have slightly more 'representation' than she is due by votes, but it's a trifling problem and still vastly fairer than FPTP.

NZ switched after a series of governments that were more radical than the country as a whole; despite some initial discomfort with coalition government, PR is now thoroughly.embedded. In the 2011 referendum, 58% of voters chose to keep MMP against any alternative.

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Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

JC_

Re: No FTTC for us

Bonding would also be an option if needed, we already have half a dozen telephone lines, of which a couple could be bonded, allowing us to use VOIP and ditch the rest.

Our small office of 12 people has FTTC and it's great (lucky us), but using it for VoIP is something we've often considered but never quite had the courage for. The internet connection has only gone down a couple of times in the past few years, but the plain old phone lines have never died. Once I learned that a SLA just meant getting just a pro-rata refund for the time the connection was down, my confidence went.

Has anyone out there taken the gamble? If so, how'd it go?

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The Glorious Resolution: Feast your eyes on 5 HiDPI laptops

JC_

Dell M3800

Prices start at around £1,500 for a model with a conventional 1920x1080 display, but it’ll cost you £1,848.00 to step up to a "quad-HD" display with 3200x1800 resolution.

It's worth keeping in mind the Dell Outlet store (and those for the other manufacturers). I'm typing this on my M3800 with the quad-HD screen and it cost £1,050 + VAT a few months ago. Even in the regular shop there is always a discount code available.

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The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes

JC_

Re: The problem with "cloud" as backup in this context...

finding somewhere to store your 4TB of personal data that doesn't cost several limbs

CrashPlan is unlimited for £40 or so per year. The upload speed was about 5Mb/s (but with compressed data, so double that) out of the 16Mb/s upstream connection available.

C - what's C? Ignorance is bliss :/

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

JC_

Re: A few minor changes in law are in order here

Parking fees + parking fines = parking costs/maintenance + cost of enforcement is the theory.

But that ignores all the other costs and externalities, so it's hardly neutral.

If I park in the disabled bay and therefore deny it to a disabled person, what fine should I get? Just the few quid that I would have paid to park in a legitimate bay?

The fact is that most parking offenses are selfish behaviour that impose a small cost on a lot of other people; drivers who get ticketed whine loudly because they feel the fine acutely, but they don't see the costs and inconvenience they've caused.

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JC_

Re: A few minor changes in law are in order here

In theory, as the parking restrictions were revenue-neutral this ought to have no effect.

What does making parking restrictions "revenue neutral" actually mean? Is it fines = cost of enforcement? Or do you take into account the opportunity cost caused by some wanker double-parking and blocking the way for all other road-users, or worse, causing accidents?

I would argue that it would be best to put the "temptation" to work and have the free-market solve the problem - license parking wardens, put them on commission and have them ticket as much as they're able to.

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This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...

JC_

Re: Is the default for apps to want everything?

I've turned down a metronome app recently on WP8

FYI: "Guitar Toolkit" includes a metronome and has quite reasonable permissions requirements.

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

JC_

Re: 0% finance over the contract term

the subsidised market ... often creates opportunities that a more transparent hardware purchase market is less likely to offer. At any point in time there will be something good that somebody really needs to shift, and if you're flexible then there's bargains to be had.

True, but only if the bargain happens to be available when your contract is up for renewal. In the UK it's no big deal to switch to PAYG to wait for a bargain between contracts, but in the US, is that a realistic option? It seems like everyone is locked into contracts (T-Mobile customers excepted) and if you have to pay the contract price, you might as well just get the most expensive phone.

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Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

JC_

Re: Does this include noscript/Adblock users?

According to Mozilla, there are 2.3 million users of NoScript. While that's a lot, it's a small proportion of Firefox users, let alone all browsers.

Anyway, the OS is shown in the user agent ID string. That can be faked of course, but not many bother.

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NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails

JC_

Re: Let me break it down for you

Here's an example of Slater's blogging: after a 28 year old man died in a car-crash, in which he was a passenger, Slater writes: "Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour"

Slater is a vile individual who slimes and slanders and does so for money. The fact that the PM, journalists and members of the National Party are all embarrassed by their links with him shows that it's a view shared across the political spectrum.

"Surf his website" - if you do, shower afterward.

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London officials declare cabbie-bothering Uber is legal – for now

JC_

Re: supply, demand, the need for humans...

Ultimately, the driving part of the job is only a bit. Taxi drivers also shift luggage. And possibly wheel chairs.

A driverless car could still be serviced, it'd just be another amenity to pay extra for, in the same way as a posh restaurant will have someone to take your coat while at Nando's you sort it out for yourself.

More than likely it'd be easier to order a serviced cab via an app than walking along the taxi rank to find a driver willing to leave his cab.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

JC_

Re: @AC GPS is shite ....

"Considering they spend their working life driving in the hellhole that is London traffic"

Taxis are the hellish traffic in London.

I'm a (saintly) cyclist in London and my defining encounter with a taxi driver was when one deliberately tried to left-hook me. More mini-cabs also means cleaner air, since they're not bound by the ridiculous turning circle regulation.

There are 60,000 or so mini-cabs in London and 12,000 Hackney-cabs, so despite having the advantages of roadside pickup and use of bus-lanes the black cabs are already the unfavoured choice.

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So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

JC_

Re: Volume Control

[WP8.1] is a developer preview with all the associated issues and risks

Not so much a preview as a way to get the update out to users who don't want to wait for operator approval. There's no need to be an actual developer or pay anything, just the mildest speed-bump of filling in an online form. I'd compare it to MSDN subscribers getting the latest Windows release a couple of months before OEMs actually ship PCs with it.

WP8.1 has been completely stable and a big improvement in my experience; keep in mind that phones are being released with 8.1 installed so it's not a beta.

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JC_

Re: When Nokia teaches Microsoft about phones

I'm sorry - no different volume for ringer and apps? On an OS that has been around for four years? That's falling on the first hurdle out of the gate and I would immediately return it to the shop being "not fit for purpose".

WP8.1 does have separate volume controls (finally!) but you're absolutely right: a single control was a poor decision* and keeping it for so long in the face of user-feedback was simply obtuse. Maybe the change is a sign of MS listening more in the post-Sinofsky and post-monopoly era.

*With my Lumia 800 I'd turn the volume up to watch videos on the tube; if I forgot to turn the ringer off then when the tube went above-ground any SMS alert would deafen me. A simple UI can be too simple.

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Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE

JC_
Pint

Oddly enough, doing this does add to science. We already have the Schmidt sting pain index which rates different insect stings by painfulness; the bullet ant resulting in a 4 and "quivering and screaming from these peristaltic waves of pain".

This is adding a second dimension of where the sting is most painful. If he takes a bullet ant sting to the balls in the name of science, I'll buy him a beer.

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Microsoft's battery-boosting Surface slab cover to ship soon

JC_

@ Hellcat

A spare battery for a Dell E7440 laptop, for example, is £100-£120 from Dell. Like you say, if it's important enough, people will pay it.

Compared to the RAM & SSD upgrade prices for the Surface Pro (and most other tablets & phones), the keyboard is not that much of a rip-off.

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Indonesia plans 10 Gbps FTTP as part of 20-million-premises broadband project

JC_

What's the bet that it'll be built on schedule and on budget, or that even a single home will get a "10Gbps down/2.5 Gbps" connection?

Good luck to them building it, but with this hype they're setting themselves up for over-promising, under-delivering.

Comparing it to Aussie, it's probably a lot easier to wire up homes when a rats nest of cables can be hung off every power & lamp pole the population live in much more dense cities.

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Update your Mac NOW: Apple fixes OS X 'goto fail' SSL spying vuln

JC_

I don't see what the big deal was.....I just used another browser until it got fixed.

And that other browser on iPads & iPhones would be?

If they would have rushed out a fix and screwed something up then everyone would have been complaining about that!

Guess Apple needed enough time to make sure the fix compiled, maybe even get around to writing their first unit tests for their freaking Security Library.

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IBM nearly HALVES its effective tax rate in 2013 - report

JC_

Re: The Bretton Woods agreement

Consider a MacDonalds Paper cup made in India, Printed in China, shipped to America under the direction of a Luxembourg HQ.

Where is the value added?? Where does the profit get booked??

If it cost 1¢ to manufacture and sells for $1 in the US, the 99¢ should be taxed in the US. But what really happens is that the logo on the cup is intellectual property which a McDonald's subsidiary in Switzerland 'owns' and charges McDonald's US a usurious rate for, reducing (on paper) the profit.

Substitute coffee beans, Starbucks and the UK for cups, McDonald's and the US.

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

JC_

Re: The small ironies of life.

We have chaos and selfishness in the UK with parking. Just go near a school at kicking out time. Your link won't fix that: The parents already think they've got a right to park as close to the school as they can get, just so they don't have to walk so far to fetch their kids

I couldn't agree with you more about the schools. I cycle past Pembridge Hall ("Preparatory School for Girls") in Notting Hill everyday and it's a nightmare; over-privileged parents thinking that £10,500 / year also gives them the right to park the 4x4 wherever they want, even if it causes accidents.

All it needs is enforcement - there is none. I guarantee that if every illegally parked car was being ticketed/towed/clamped then the bad behaviour would stop overnight and we'd all be better off for it.

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JC_

@ T. F. M. Reader

Right at the bottom of the Spiegel article you linked to it states this:

Now traffic is regulated by only two rules in Drachten: "Yield to the right" and "Get in someone's way and you'll be towed."

Which is exactly my point! There has to be enforcement or it's chaos; not friendly chaos, but the bedlam of cars & trucks blocking the road simply because they get away with it.

On Exhibition Road, the council says this: "Exhibition Road is a Restricted Zone with two way traffic along the whole length of the road. Parking is prohibited anywhere in the road except in marked parking bays. We do not need extra signs or ugly yellow lines to enforce a Restricted Zone."

The yellow lines don't do the enforcement, the threat of fines/towing/clamping do!

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JC_

Re: The small ironies of life.

A bloodsucker getting Lyme disease....

I've never understood the hatred toward parking-rule enforcement. Without enforcement, drivers take the piss and we end up with chaos and selfishness like in Rome or Bombay.

If it's wheel-clamping in particular that's hated, keep in mind that fines don't always work. A sheik double-parked outside Harrods won't give a damn about a fine, but he won't want to come back to an immobilised or towed Bentley.

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Microsoft slices Azure prices just days after Amazon's cloud shave

JC_

Re: Wobbly Wheel

I guess that's a too long way to say there is not, and never has been room for small infrastructure providers who are more than flashes in the pan. It simply costs too much money to make money in that game.

MS is the exact opposite of a small infrastructure provider; they host a search engine, Office 365, endless websites and all of the glue that make it work together. Amazon are much the same, but with a smaller cash pile. Why exactly would you be worried about MS disappearing?

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JC_

Re: Wobbly Wheel

You can screw around like this when you're flush with cash and sales are good.

Odd that this line of reasoning makes you worry about MS - $6.56bn in profit in the last quarter - rather than Amazon with its negative profit margin (-0.24%).

I'd be much more concerned about the ability of any of the smaller hosting providers to survive when competing against Amazon, MS & Google. All 3 of those require vast server farms for their own needs and benefit from economies of scale; they'll be creating and renting out extra capacity as long as they are around.

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

JC_

Re: Alternatives exist

Another alternative, and more power efficient than NiMH is LiFEPO4 which is inherently safer than more popular lithium based batteries (Li-Ion and Li-Po).

I had to look that one up, as the idea of Polonium-based anything being safe was amazing. Sadly disappointed to learn it stands for "polymer"!

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'F*** off, Google!' Protest blockades Google staff bus AGAIN – and Apple's

JC_

Re: bad side effect of a generally good thing

I saw a survey last week. 48% thought that the economy would be doing worse now, had Labour won the last election. 41% thought that if Labour had won, they would personally be doing better. Huh?!?! I guess that means they think that government cuts need to be made, but hopefully someone else will pay for them (or just bung it on credit).

I suppose the answers to these questions always lines up with party preferences, but if we'd had the policies that Labour campaigned on then the economy would have been better off.

Austerity - i.e. spending cuts - is exactly the wrong thing to do in a recession and the fact that Osborne and Cameron have insisted on making them (and are still making them) has damaged the economy and people's lives. Of course, to Osborne and Cameron, those are other people's lives.

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Windows Phone app developers: These games are made for you

JC_

There are other ways of connecting devices than a USB port that you seem fixated on.

Huh? I've mildly suggested that having a USB port is useful and given a real example; your Jobs-like insistance that they somehow make a tablet "less portable" is the fixation.

My camera (Panasonic) has WiFi (host or client) and can send photos to my tablet or phone (or other) while I take photos, and can also be remotely controlled from the phone - without a USB cable - use Lumix Link.

Swell. You'll also note that there are many more cameras and devices that don't have WiFi.

My partner's camera is a Nikon D90 with no WiFi but a mint body and a grand worth of lenses. When we were in Peru & Bolivia this year it was useful for me to take copies of her pictures with me when I left a week before her. Couldn't have done it if my tablet didn't have a USB port.

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JC_

external storage via WiFi

Not too many thumb drives have WiFi. It seems a bit daft to argue that having a USB port somehow makes a tablet less portable; do mini-HDMI / DP ports have the same effect?

Here's one use for the USB on the move: copying files from the camera SDHC card while on holiday.

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