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* Posts by Synonymous Howard

204 posts • joined 7 Apr 2011

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Top ten car gadgets: Get your motor running with new shiny-shiny

Synonymous Howard

Rather expensive versions chosen

I'd take a reasonable tablet with GPS + Bluetooth and £5 ODBII dongle + Torque over much of these, especially when tethered to a smartphone ('free' upgrade to 4G on Three has worked out well for me). There are a number of good Car DVR apps as well but I've yet to find a good 'trip recorder' which records front and back video + GPS / timestamp overlays, ODBII data recording (in sync with video) and provides turn by turn routing ... maybe one day I'll write one 8-)

Car DVR cams are stupidly cheap on eBay and work rather well .. I have a 'basic' cam for £18 and it just sits there taking 720p video with motion detection, auto start, G-sensor lock, recording looping etc. Pay a few more quid and you get 1080p, dual cameras and GPS.

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Careful with 'fibre speed record' hype: which record's been broken?

Synonymous Howard

I've just had the Openreach FTTC product installed and my speed has gone down from 4.5Mbs to 3.5Mbs for downloads, yet up from 500Kbs to 18MBs for uploads .. screwy or what?!

Sigh. And there I was hoping that the official estimate of 52 - 72 MBs would mean I'd get near the top end (as my ADSL2+ estimate was 1.5Mbs and I got 4.5Mbs thanks to an ADSLNation faceplate).

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Synonymous Howard

Re: Big = evil?

Don't be (caught being) evil.

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Freeview's rumoured '£100m YouView killer' is real – and it's yet another digital TV thing

Synonymous Howard

Re: 3.142 platforms

Although I have 4 RasPis and have run XBMC / PlexBMC on some I have found the £10 nowtv (Sky+Roku) boxes to be very good (side-loaded with a Plex client via the 'dev' mode easter egg) and running iPlayer, 4oD and umm, Demand 5.

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Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Synonymous Howard

Re: What a waste!

Yeah creative types like Linus Torvalds. Gimme a break. Very few people need optical drives these days .. I've got a £40 portable blu-ray drive, just use it for rips and the very occasional software cd .. everything else goes over the wire(less) or on thumb drives. Optical is just too damn slow and small .. consign it to the floppy and zip pile.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: What a waste!

I'd go for a 15" Macbook Pro with its 15.4 inch 2880x1800 IPS display, quad 2.3GHz i7,16GB RAM + 512GB PCIe flash, 2.02Kg, 8 hour battery, all at £2,199 without discount but I would think most people should be able to get it at the 'standard' discount price of £2,023 though.

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Speaking in Tech: What do you MEAN, US court can demand OFFSHORE public cloud data?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Not sure if anyone else has ever asked this...

Agreed .. I have never been bothered to listen to these podcasts .. ever.

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Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk

Synonymous Howard

Re: One word answer explaining precipertous fall

They've just rebadged it you fool!

I'm not having a Mini Metro

I'm not having a Mini Metro

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Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Synonymous Howard

Re: asteroids

Star Wars - my fav vector graphics arcade game of the 80s.

'use the force luke'

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Fatal attraction

Oooh .. another useful one ... now where's the credit card gone ... "wifey, where have you put my wallet? No, honest I'm not going to buy anything, I just want to look at my card numbers."

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Cured !

banggood is good, odd juxtaposition of electronics and ladies wear though ... however can't stop ebaying for arduino bits at the moment.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: I must be cutting down.

Ooohhh .. haven't heard of R F Potts before ... will have to have a butchers soon.

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Synonymous Howard

I thought it was a 15 minute break every 4 hours? .. so 15 minutes at 'lunch time' and then home even earlier.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Two words (and an ellipsis)

Yup .. 26 series for the TRS-80 stuff. I was a part-timer there for 5 years in the early 80s (got a gold TC pin and everything) ... learnt programming there and even wrote a stock control system for the local store that ran on the Model 3 ... ahh those lovely yellow hand written receipts (typing them in on the system at the end of the day).

Stock takes were fun .. trying to do it faster than before ... climbing around the 'stock room' which typically consisted of rather dodgy wooden racks in a 20 foot square bit at the back of the shop.

Counting thousands of pounds out on the floor on Christmas Eve after managing to push people out of the door so we could close on time.

Happy Days ... although I did recycle all my wages back on their stuff 8-/ (but I got the pick of the 'sales' and 'discontinued' items .. still have the original TRS-80 Model I .. and a top of the range logic-controlled tape deck picked up for £25)

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Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

Synonymous Howard

I recognize ...

The Arduino Mini Pro (ebay £3), Bluetooth serial module (£3) and SD card module (£1) .. not yet sure what the green boards are (buffers? level converters?)

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Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US

Synonymous Howard
Joke

> I'll take MS incompetence every time.

Ahh .. you must be IT support then as MS keep you in a job.

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Synonymous Howard

DIY

You can build your own home cloud yourself today, very cheaply and using open source software.

You could start with NAS4Free (www.nas4free.org) on a HP Microserver and add on WebDAV and other software elements if required by specific apps.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: (albeit willingly given).

All those are on my proxy's block list in addition to blocking on AdBlock.

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Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

Synonymous Howard

Re: I love the 10 second boot from SSD

And you miss the point, that these days a laptop with a good OS does not often need to be booted from cold .. a good OS sleeps well and long without recharging, does not always need rebooting when applying patches and is stable enough it does not crash and burn and stays up for weeks on end.

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Synonymous Howard

For an 11 inch or smaller device .. then JUST ... although it does look vertically cramped but is usable when mobile! I have an 11" Macbook Air and it has that resolution but the weight and size overcomes the resolution disadvantage ... not that I get much chance to use it as the missus has nabbed it as 'hers' because of its size.

For anything bigger then look for a minimum of 1440x900.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: I love the 10 second boot from SSD

You should not need to boot from cold these days on a laptop .. sleep mode should be fine for everyone and pops back in a second or two ... or maybe that's just Macbooks 8-)

OT: Have to say that 'sleep' on stock Android is crap though giving battery life that is naff compared with iPads. I'm still having to fight Android on tablets to stop it draining battery overnight whilst iOS is astonishing good at sleeping yet still processing push notifications etc.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Netbook 9

Chromebooks should be correctly named 'Netbook Redux' or the more accurate 'Android+Keyboard'

Still they are now looking like large PSION Netbooks (tm) but with native tinternet access.

This one is definitely fugly though and not worth a punt even if you could turn easily it in to a generic 'Linbook' / 'Unbooku'

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NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

Synonymous Howard

Re: GP's Opening Hours

No need to talk to a GP .. just send them a completed copy of one of these 'community produced' following opt-out forms (as no 'official' opt-out form seems to exist .. what a surprise!) ...

http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

http://www.blackburnroadmedical.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Care-Dot-Data-Fact-Sheet-Opt-Out-Form.pdf

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Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it'

Synonymous Howard

Re: Point 3

My mother-in-law still has a coal-fired plant in her house and I have a gas-fired plant in mine.

What? You mean an electricity generating turbine .. sorry .. my mistake, should have said, yes, one of those as well and that's in the garage when not on the road.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Nice article

But you have to get your squib damp otherwise you won't get around the island and back to Cowes.

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Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking

Synonymous Howard

c–h–r–o-m–e–netbook then.

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Bluetooth Smart to tap IPv6-powered Internet of Things after 4.1 upgrade

Synonymous Howard

Re: TNG coms

This is close...

http://www.technologytell.com/gaming/47749/dream-cheekys-star-trek-themed-usb-gadgets/

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Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

Synonymous Howard

Re: Excellent Article

Yup .. like an upgraded Quidco Mobile App .. saves having to remember to "sign in" when near a shop.

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Apple BIGGEST LOSER in Blighty's Battle of Fondlers

Synonymous Howard

Re: Disaster!

And without the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina versions having hit the streets .. i.e. people holding back purchases for the new models. Come back again in Feb'14. Pure Reg click bait.

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WHO ate all the PIs? Sales of Brit mini-puter pass 2 MEELLION

Synonymous Howard

When I left school in '82 they had one UK101 (complete with cardboard box case) and one RML 380Z between a fair few hundred kids. Sounds like progress to me 8-)

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Falkland Islands almost BLITZED from space by plunging European ion-rocket craft

Synonymous Howard

Someone saw it come down

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24907261

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How my batch process nightmare was solved by a Wombat

Synonymous Howard

That sounds like my life .. after 35 years (the last 22 actually getting paid for it) of coding / hacking / building / rebuilding / fixing / solving / documenting and generally automating the heck out of all things techie, it stills amazes me how many times people ring up to ask me to help out with something "because they are sure I might know" (and I usual do or 'know how to google it').

I suppose I get a perverse thrill from solving other people's problems .. especially when the ones I'm supposed to be working on are ... well .. boring. Still as long as there is a WBS code to book to then its paid work 8-]

I keep all the code I write, you never know when you may need to 'remember' how you did something .. plus all my code comes with a (my) life-time support guarantee.

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Pebble smartwatch app guys! Put your mind at WRIST: New SDK + iOS 7 alerts

Synonymous Howard

Re: New SmartQ Watch

Battery life - that's the killer app requirement. How does this do? In real use?

More functions ~= Lower battery life.

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Need a job? The 'Internet of Things' WANTS YOU

Synonymous Howard

Bayesian Inference Engine

Actually I'm interested in that having just built an arduino based heating controller and about to add 'occupancy' monitoring of my alarm system (for the PIRs and doors opening etc) .. is there a blog with it on at all?

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Synonymous Howard

Re: A quick correction

Actually you can buy a hudl OUTRIGHT using £60 of Tesco clubcard vouchers - no cash required ... http://www.tesco.com/direct/clubcard-boost/

I bought one for £69 cash + £25 in vouchers. Plus got 238 more clubcard points (double points voucher) and a whole 35p cashback via credit card 8-)

The only downside is the battery life which, although is ~9 hours, like most 7" Androids gets nowhere near the life an ipad mini gives (real world experience).

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Post-PC world? POST-MAC WORLD more like

Synonymous Howard

I'm waiting for MacBook Pro updates and the new Mac Pro to come out

I also don't base my purchases on anal announcements but on tech update cycles.

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Asus NV550JV 15.6in full HD notebook - the one we didn't have to send back

Synonymous Howard

Re: Track pad alignment

Could not live without a trackpad now .. then again I use a Macbook Pro and that trackpad has a tendency to just work as expected. However on a 'work' Lenovo I would agree the trackpad should be taken out and shot .. the nipple rules on that one.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

Reboot and hold down mouse button to force an eject.

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For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Synonymous Howard

Re: Oh FFS

The opposite case, surely.

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

Synonymous Howard

Looking around the local town it appears we are evolving in to the passengers of the BnL starliner Axiom.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Overpopulation is a horrendous threat

bagsy a deckchair on shanklin beach.

What do you mean I have to stand up? And how long is that queue for the loo!

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Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

Synonymous Howard

Re: Well,

Yes you can get it right now in the UK (>1000 in stock) for a princely sum of £37.18 inc vat and delivery from...

http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?SKU=2291620

I got mine last month and its rather lovely and you just plug it in and it boots straight up in to Linux with a graphical display .. it has that instant satisfaction that the Pi does not necessarily have (and I have 4 Pi's 8-)

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Hunt on NHS data sharing: Obviously we HAVE TO let people opt out

Synonymous Howard

Easy, go ask your GP. I did that the other day and the receptionist confirmed that the consent to share had been withheld.

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Reddit: So very sorry for naming innocent man as Boston bomber

Synonymous Howard

Re: unmitigated baloney

"Looking at Britain ... Astonishingly the use of guns in crimes including homicide has increased steadily since the passage of those laws." - huh? Facts please?

How about instead something which came out today....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22275280

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Handwriting beats PowerPoint's teaching power says MIT boffin

Synonymous Howard

I still have at least one of those Tandy/Radio Shack books he wrote and its excellent .. I still use lab style graph paper notebooks ... It's so much easier to use illustrations in notes then and make them look good. I don't see the point of PowerPoint, I craft my emails like documents with bullet points, appropriate white space, technical terms where appropriate and plain English. I craft up network diagrams in word (which is all its good for) and not Visio as that suffers from 'detailed image'itish for specific models of kit when really just a box saying 'firewall' suffices ... Less is more.

I think technical books still have a tendency to suffer from Victorian font syndrome, I.e. why use one font when five different ones at different sizes will do! I love the early O'reilly books and the Stevens' unix / networking tomes, true classics as to how to present ideas.

I need to understand the network security of a new data centre deployment and so I'm creating a giant overview diagram to illustrate the spreadsheets of vlan and IP address allocations ... Funnily enough the architects want a copy.

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US national vulnerability database hacked

Synonymous Howard
Happy

Re: Be careful what you wish for, for it can kill you if you don't get it in ICT, ...

That's The Register being ironic towards a very ironical situation/event.

As opposed to The Register's "waiting for an invite" optimism when discussing Apple media events.

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

Synonymous Howard

Re: This

Nah ... m.theregister.co.uk looks fine to me in any browser (and less advertising and no app-level tracking) ... also 'reader' mode on mobile browsers (well Safari anyway) is even more readable and even less advertising.

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Tablets BEAT DOWN laptops in 4-to-1 Xmas bloodbath - analyst

Synonymous Howard

Re: Luggage up!

And how would you transport a laptop around then? Bare or in a bag / case / neoprene slip?

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VIA bakes a fruitier Rock cake to rival the Brit Raspberry Pi

Synonymous Howard

Re: I hope

Remember that the first APC was sold at $49 Android PC in July 2012, although that version is still available its gained speed and memory etc and is now $79 or $99 with 'book' case ... so expect a $199 version next year 8-(

Meanwhile the Raspberry Pi 'Model B' rev 2 doubled the memory of rev 1 and is still £30 inc VAT+delivery.

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