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* Posts by Ian Yates

858 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

Google+ mission creep continues with Hangouts slotted into Gmail

Ian Yates
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Re: I wonder..

I doubt they will. Right now you can have a G+ account associated to any email address (in fact, if you've registered with any G service you probably have a G+ account waiting). But, and this is quite important to a lot of people, you do have the option to disable G+ from within your account settings.

Unless Google became the dominant social network and decided they could abuse such trust, I can't see them changing this.

Incidentally, you can also download all of your Google data (not just G+) from the same settings.

(need a tinfoil-hat icon)

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Jackson’s Hobbit becomes a trilogy

Ian Yates
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Re: I wonder why...

Don't get too enthused: he's clearly incorporating an entirely new set of substories alongside the main Hobbit one, so how much of each he uses is unclear.

I think six hours would be enough to do The Hobbit a lot of justice, but nine hours means he's planning a lot of new material.

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Google adds handwriting to mobile search site

Ian Yates
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Trollface

Sounds innovative...

so who holds the patent?

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Galaxy S III dumps universal search, tries to dodge Apple's sueballs

Ian Yates
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Re: Fuck you google!

"Universal search? Someone paid to create that."

You've missed a massive point here: the patent (like other software patents) doesn't cover /how/ you do universal search just /if/ you do it. Compare this to, for instance, real patents that specifically cover the invention itself and not the purpose of it, allowing others to do their own R&D to come up with alternative approaches.

One of these promotes innovation, one stifles it.

In short:

1. Imagine something useful that could be done with a computer (or event a specific form-factor of a computer);

2. Patent the idea, nothing more, you don't need to prove it or think about it too much;

3. Profit when someone actually does it.

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Google Nexus 7 blighted by brightness blunder

Ian Yates
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Re: Typical lazy Google...

"I think the 7" tab market is no-mans land gumpth and this will be temporary hot-air"

Will you say the same if the much-vaunted iPad Mini appears?

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Ian Yates
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Re: Hmmm....

And that's not even going in to their online services.

I'm a G+ fan, but the number of different interfaces for uploading photos is bordering on insanity. The worst part is that you can tag a person using some ways but not others, so you have to remember how to share the photo.

That said, the chocolate factory is pretty good at reacting to users' opinions (especially if you get a "celebrity" to say it publicly.

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Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

Ian Yates
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Re: Hmm

You've summed up my thoughts on why OSX (and IOS, and Android, etc.) bundle so much non-OS stuff as an OS upgrade.

I'm sure there are upgraded OS features in here, but what's the technical limitation on not having all the Notes, etc., things available as individual software upgrades?

Being such a minor incremental update, my point might not sound so relevant here.

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Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

Ian Yates
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Stop

Re: bloody ridiculous...

"Apple invented a slick device which was the thinnest smartphone device when it came out. The big novelty was that it hardly had any buttons and that the few there were were hidden."

Granted it has three buttons on the front instead of one and is 0.6mm thicker (but 50g lighter), but the LG Prada was announced and released before the original iPhone. So who copied whom?

Every time I read these patent throwing stories, I'm amazed that this stuff can even be patented. Who would ever produce a handheld device with non-rounded corners? Even the original Gameboy had them.

Calling any of the devices "carbon-copy" is disingenuous: Apple have the iconic single button with square symbol; how could anyone not recognise an Apple product by that alone? I've never seen that copied.

They should all grow up and stop!

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Russian cargoship fluffs Space Station docking test

Ian Yates
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Re: Not quite

Understood, but Dragon got a lot closer without any issues than Progress did ;)

I don't think it will be long before Musk & Co. have a fully automated docking vehicle, given their progress to date.

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Ian Yates
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I was just thinking that it highlighted how far SpaceX had come in such a short time.

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Blizzard faces court battle for 'misleading Diablo III fans'

Ian Yates
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Re: Was interested in this..

I made this mistake with StarCraft ][ and find it almost unplayable with the current level of DRM. The Blizzard servers just seem so slow to authenticate me, and I lost connection mid-game (and thus progress) enough times for me to just give up.

I should have just pirated it.

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Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review

Ian Yates
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Re: Well Duh!

Behind you?! I think you're doing it wrong: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Cowgirl_(South_Park)

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Ian Yates
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Re: I smell BS

I think that's where his "replacing my laptop and iPad" comment came in: Win8 desktop for enterprise (laptop) usage and Metro for lighter iPad-esque usage.

I've only played with Win8 on a desktop, but I could see how Metro would work well for a touch-based interface.

I'll stick with my Transformer and ThinkPad, though. I don't want to mix personal and business usages and accounts.

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Ian Yates
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Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

Massively agree.

I tried Win8 preview and really didn't care about Metro except that it replaces the quick-to-use orb. While I might eventually get used to the Metro way of doing everything, why do I want to see a bunch of widgets every time I want to run an application?

@AC: "full" Win8 is just Win7 with Metro; I think you're talking about Win8 RT (or Windows on ARM), which only runs Metro applications.

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Ian Yates
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WTF?

Re: Well Duh!

Good for you. Now what about the rest of us who sit at a /desk/ to get our daily job done?

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'Sacrifice another goat!: iCloud is Apple's biggest failure before Google

Ian Yates
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Re: android syncs across devices?

What exactly happens for you? Assuming you have your Google account registered on your phone (Settings > Accounts) and marked to background sync, anything you add to the calendar for that account should be "instantly" available in your online Google Calendar and any other Google-powered devices.

I've had this across three Android devices for years and have aways found it to be completely hassle free.

I'm not saying it works 100% of the time, but I've not head before of it not working at all...

I'm looking forward to Google Music coming to the UK, to complete the multimedia cloud experience on Android.

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USB charges up to 100 watts

Ian Yates
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Re: Great idea!

USB-powered printers and monitors (good ones, that is). Boom! Only one PSU under my desk.

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Ebuyer on the naughty step for fondleslab promo cock-up

Ian Yates
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Headmaster

Re: If DFS can get away with it

The curse of the homophone!

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Is the Higgs boson an imposter?

Ian Yates
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Boffin

"this sounds like a bunch of scientists shouting "me too!!!!" and trying to get on the HiggsBosun press band wagon"

That's funny, because to me this sounds like good science being done by good scientists.

Institute 1 (CERN) performs an experiment and makes a conditional claim of success to their original hypothesis; Institutes 2+ (everyone else) take that same data and propose possible alternatives to the original conclusions, normally adding some confirmation/skepticism around the original claim.

This is real science in action, even if the media find it boring because there is almost never (especially at this level of physics) a "oh, definitely" response from scientists.

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Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

Ian Yates
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Re: 'Most issues solved years ago'

It'll sound cliche, but Opera Mail also uses tabs.

I use Thunderbird at home and can't say that there's anything major that I think is missing and it's been stable for me for years. This sounds like a sensible solution, as long as they are committed to fixing any discovered security issues.

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Chess algorithm written by Alan Turing goes up against Kasparov

Ian Yates
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Joke

Re: I think I'm hungry

I have it in Perl, but the comments won't accept the syntax and you wouldn't be able to read it even if it did.

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Android Firefox: Screaming, awesome, you'll go blind etc

Ian Yates
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Re: Hello? Anyone there?

What's that? Oh, sorry. Yep, I use Opera Mobile on my Sensation, but I've found the vanilla Browser is better on my Transformer.

I'll just go and do some flagellation to cleanse myself.

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Be co-founder mows BT's long grass in bid for fibre success

Ian Yates
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I'll give you another high horse: I'm in SE5 (zone 2) and don't even have Infinity, with no plans to get it.

I had a discussion with BTCare on Twitter yesterday about the fact that they've been telling me that it's three months away for two years now. On Monday it was 30th June, yesterday 30th September.

Go figure.

My friend in Scarborough is expecting his connection in the next week. I'm not saying that Londoners should get everything first, but the infrastructure cost must be lower in a city.

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Google orders spontaneous support for Parliamentary motion

Ian Yates
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Headmaster

Re: astroturfing

Surely "(v.)"?

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Surface: Because Microsoft does so well making hardware?

Ian Yates
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FAIL

Re: Who is going to sell it?

Brilliant paraphrasing. Let me help:

"__Initially__, Microsoft says Surface will be sold in its retail stores and via Microsoft’s online stores." (emphasis mine)

Since they don't even have any UK stores, this would have been the most obvious gun-to-foot statement, had it been true.

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Assange takes refuge in Ecuadorian embassy

Ian Yates
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I'm with skelband. I don't know whether Assange is delusional or actual being persecuted by mysterious forces, but I thought he got a reasonably fair hearing (though, I did get his lawyer's point about the Vienna Convention).

As my post history will show, I think he should go back to Sweden to face those charges, but if that was used to then get him to the USA it would be an international incident.

Can we replace the black helicopter icon with Assange?

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Microsoft takes on tablets with keyboard-equipped Surface

Ian Yates
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Re: Microsoft has worked hard to up the hype this launch.

"the devices brought its software to the surface for users"

I threw up a little

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Vodafone's small, controversial tax bill validated by UK.gov

Ian Yates
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Re: We can negotiate for a lower tax bill!?

I think the rule is that you have to owe A LOT of tax. So consider refusing to pay for a few years and then writing to HMRC.

Equality for all.

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Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today

Ian Yates
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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

We can trust that the system will be infallible and produce no false-positives.

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Ian Yates
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Black Helicopters

You do know that your incitable comment has been tracked and monitored, don't you?

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£CHING: ICANN bags $357m from 1,930 dot-word domains

Ian Yates
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Stop

Re: Unacceptable face of capitalism?

The whole thing is a scam. Why do we need these? Why not just allow multilingual equivalents of the current TLDs?

What's the chance Mr A. Non. Phisher has asked for ".corn"?

Madness. I can see no benefit to the Internet from any of this.

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That new 'Microsoft GCSE': We reveal what's in it

Ian Yates
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You say that

but using word processing software (like MS Word) and knowing how to word process are two different things.

As a very simple rule of thumb, turning on special characters and seeing a ton of spaces used to indent or align is a good example of someone who has "picked this up" and either ignored or been ignored in how to do it properly.

/bugbear

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Habeas data: How to build an internet that forgets

Ian Yates
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I can't tell whether you're espousing this as a good idea or not.

Personally, I can't see how that solution could be tenable. Ignoring the fact there's nothing wrong with being held accountable for your own words/decisions (assuming people give up with the idea that changing your mind is somehow wrong), this would be the death-knell for FOSS, as it would require all email clients to implement and circumventing DRM when you have access to the result is trivial.

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Climate scientists see 'tipping point' ahead

Ian Yates
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Re: I can understand no argument against doing more research

@Tom 13

Ad hominems aside, let's assume that the paper discussed in the article is correct and we're decades away from an irreversible climate problem, which we were unaware of because you spent half your research budget on AV software: how long do you get to enjoy editing your anti-asteroid footage before you run out of food?

In case my stance wasn't clear: I'm pro-understanding what we as a species are doing to our planet and how it will affect us in the future (and if we can do something to improve our time here).

If the option was to spend the money terraforming Mars or building a space ark, I'd be all for it: eggs and baskets, etc. But we only have one planet and one ecosystem.

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Ian Yates
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Re: "If you are driving too fast in the rain towards a brick wall and you MIGHT hit the brick wall"

Nice strawman argument, but why swerve when you can just slow the car down and turn on your headlights?

And population control doesn't require death camps, just education. I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime (at least, not a world scale), but that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea in principle.

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Ian Yates
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Re: I like the sound of the homebrew...

@Sirius Lee

I completely agree with you, we don't *know* what will happen, but we can come up with hypotheses on what *might* happen. Of all the ones I've seen, "nothing" is the most optimistic and "global warming/destruction of a large part of the ecosystem" is the most pessimistic.

I completely agree that the agenda (any of them) has been stolen by the political, economic, and "green" lobbies in order to further their goal, but that doesn't disprove the science (but obviously should cast doubt over some of the findings).

Whatever the "truth" is, I can understand no argument against doing more research (hopefully unbiased) and suggesting ways to reduce our impact on our environment - we rely on the whole ecosystem and we are clearly "straining" (possibly a poor word choice) it in a way it probably has never been before.

We live in a fine balance between ice age and global warming, either of which will have a devastating effect on our species. And we're definitely not in control of what happens in a geological time-scale sense, but maybe we have some ability to control it in the short term?

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Last.fm tell users to change passwords IMMEDIATELY

Ian Yates
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Re: A question . . .

I was going to say something similar; why would you allow a SELECT against the password column (hashed and salted or otherwise) that isn't limited to returning 1 record?

That aside, my Last.fm password isn't complex because I really couldn't care less if someone got in and liked some random songs.

+1 to them for preempting; let's hope they fix the hole now.

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AMD crashes Windows 8 tablet party with ultrathin hybrid

Ian Yates
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Re: Really AMD?

No excuse, apart from one: have you ever tried to use Windows (even Win7), which these laptops almost certainly are bundled with, on high DPI displays?

Maybe it's just me, but when I have my large display with the "make text larger or smaller" setting (DPI scaling) anything other than 100%, there are so randomly clipped regions going on it's almost unusable. I've had scrollbars in Explorer span out of the window and Chrome, Opera, and Firefox all seem to screw up their default stylings.

You can disable scaling on a per application basis, but then you're left squinting at the ones that don't supply in-app scaling.

The reason it works for iOS and Android is that interfaces are built to reference the areas of the screen they want to use in a relative way, whereas Windows applications tend to have been built historically on a pixel basis.

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Touchscreens to get finger friendly

Ian Yates
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I couldn't have more opposite thoughts to you on this: being able to truly touch-type on my Sensation would be amazing! I'm making the assumption here that the capacitive sensing is disabled while the "keys" are protruding.

Unless I'm mistaken, the "moving parts" is actually just a slight expansion of some fluid when an electrical charge is applied, so battery drain should be pretty minimal; probably less than the existing moving part: vibration.

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France's biggest Apple reseller sinks: 'Tech titan crushed us'

Ian Yates
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Presumably El Reg is hinting that this is very much a case of Apple pointing the gun at one of their own appendages.

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Oz has to go nuclear, says Adelaide U scientist

Ian Yates
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Re: Hysteria

Reprocessing and breeder reactors would considerably reduce the amount of waste, but it isn't "economical" compared to burying the stuff and digging up fresh uranium.

Think about that sentence for a bit and then explain the logic in allowing companies/governments to completely hand-off a potentially massive problem to future generations just because they think it would cost too much to follow a partially proven research path that could potentially fully solve it.

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Ian Yates
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Hysteria

Not all of the staff at Chernobyl were incompetent, just unlucky. The biggest problem was the poor design of the reactor, something that modern reactors have long solved (even the Fukishima Daiichi reactors were very old designs, having been commissioned before Chernobyl).

I'm not saying that there will never be another reactor meltdown (humans are involved, of course), but the chances are diminishing with every reactor generation, and any that occur /should/ be far more contained.

And don't forget that coal power stations are releasing significant levels of radioactive material, so it's not a case of one being "clean" compared to the other.

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Scan co-jacking nets crooks '€40k in IT gear'

Ian Yates
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Joke

Re: easy-peasy...

"If you really want to avoid attacks like these or prevent other similar and tougher to catch frauds- call me"

Coming from a guy called "The Godfather", that sounds like a different type of crime ;)

"Nice looking reseller business you've got here... shame if anything were to *happen* to it"

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Minority Report-style swishery demoed with cheap webcam

Ian Yates
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Is it just me?

I don't really get why we need gesture control everywhere... isn't this just 3DTV all over again?

I've played with some voice control TVs, and that was quite interesting, but waving at a screen is harder than using a remote... and less precise.

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SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

Ian Yates
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Pint

Have the Vulcans seen us yet?

n/t

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Ian Yates
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Re: Great but oversold?

Seems a bit beyond pedantic. Ignoring that (I believe) the use of the Canadarm to dock was made by NASA (given the control that they need to exhibit in order to be given the green light, there seems to be no technical reason Dragon couldn't do the dock), at what point is a (for all intents and purposes) docking arm small enough that it counts directly as docking?

If they got to within 10cm* and robotic arms pulled it the rest of the way, is that docking? What about 1m? How about 10m?

Not having a dig, it just seems like an arbitrary designation to make.

* Actually, I think APAS might be more than 10cm.

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WTF is... Li-Fi?

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Hmm...

I'm sure there's more to it than the article says, but why would this be better than HomePlug/Powerline? It looks like the lamp is being modulated using the mains, but then you have a gulf of space filled with thousands of other light sources or reflectors before you get to the sensor, which then has to be in an optimal position to balance the signal-noise ratio.

Sounds less mobile than Wi-Fi and less resilient in a non-mobile solution than HP.

Unless I've missed some very obvious piece of genius.

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'Dated and cheesy' Aero ripped from Windows 8

Ian Yates
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True, but the Basic theme is even worse; it just feels clunky and more like Win95.

Can't say I've ever used that wheel task-switcher thing. (Win+Tab, whatever it's called)

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Google took a bath on Android in 2010, judge reveals

Ian Yates
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Re: Future of Android

"Their mobile search revenue comes mostly from Apple devices."

Not sure how you got to this conclusion. I may be wrong, but I assume the revenue they're talking about here is specifically "Android" and not "mobile". i.e., licensing fees to partners and Market fees to developers.

Or have I missed something in the article?

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Ofcom calls for end to 0800 charges on mobiles

Ian Yates
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Re: Anachronism

Two URLs to help you out:

http://giffgaff.com/ - O2-based network with free 0800 numbers

http://www.saynoto0870.com/ - For finding the geographic number for many services

:)

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