* Posts by Boothy

469 posts • joined 17 Jun 2011

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Why does the VR industry think 2016 is its year? It's the hardware, stupid

Boothy
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Re: "we've come a hell of a long way"

These are just the initial costs, early adopter pricing. Which is the norm for emerging technologies.

For comparison, early tablets, like the Galaxy tab were over $700 dollars back in 2010. A far more capable current device is under $300, even sub $100 budget devices are more capable now, than the $700 devices were back in 2010.

The market for VR will be smaller than the tablet market, I just chose it as a fairly recent 'new tech'. So I suspect prices will not drop as far, or as fast, as they did for tablets, but it will happen.

2016 will be for early adopters, those that already have $600+ GFX cards fitted in desktop gaming rigs, or have $1,500+ gaming laptops (You can get a GTX 980 in a laptop/notebook form factor).

By 2017 we'll have v2 retail kit out, and perhaps even some more VR produces, so more competition. The market will have matured as well, so more VR content, and the costs will come down.

Plus of course by next year, you'll have 2nd hand first gen gear available on ebay etc. Just like you can buy the DK2 gear now.

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Boothy
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Re: "we've come a hell of a long way"

From what I've read, Braben had a hands on with an early Oculus, and basically went "Wow, this is the future of gaming".

He then went back to the Frontier studio and got the developers to redesigned the in game UI to be fully immersive and VR friendly. So ever since early Alpha, the Elite game has had a focused on VR.

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Boothy
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Re: Dirt cheap, but good enough

Quote: <em"The main obstacle right now seems to be making it easy (and cheap) to create the content. Cost of a rig and hardware capable of managing the post processing in a reasonable time are obstacles which will stop all but the most determined from becoming content producers for now."</em>

Isn't that dependant on the content that's being created?

If your talking about games producers, which is where I'd suspect most of the content is going to come from, at least initially, then those people will likely already have all the equipment needed for creation anyway, and might only need a software update to their chosen 3D engine. (They might need to by a headset to test though). All major game engines now have VR support, even the free Unity engine, which lots of people now seem to be using (even a recent AAA PC game used it), has included VR support for some time at no cost.

Producing VR videos/movies/TV, or VR scanning of real world locations etc, that's going to need investment, but I can't see this side of things taking off for a while yet, until VR at home becomes more common.

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Boothy
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Re: "we've come a hell of a long way"

Why pick Gears Of War?

It's a 3rd person game, and personally I don't think 3rd person is all that suitable for VR immersion, at least not without some major change to how the games are produced/shot etc.

I've always thought 3rd person games are less immersive anyway, as to me it just looks like your controlling something on screen, rather than actually being there in the action like you are (or at least seem to be) in a 1st person game.

VR will be best suited to driving/flying type games, where you are in the cockpit/drivers seat, or standard 1st person games.

Although you could still be right on the need for a bucket, at least for FPS games (driving/pilot games don't really have this issue, even with the current dev kits).

Hopefully the retail versions of at least the high end devices (Oculus and the HTC/Valve Vive) should resolved most of this for the FPS type games (where it shows up the worse). Although I can't see the Gear VR being able to cope with FPS games all that well, although it will probably do driving/flying/movies etc without issue.

For reference, I've played Elite Dangerous on a DK2 for several hours without any issues.

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Building automation systems are so bad IBM hacked one for free

Boothy
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1) Enforce passwords rules out if the box, including an expiry period.

2) Don't have any default passwords in the system. Forcing the installer to set a new password on first login.

3) Next time the building/system manager/admin logs in, it's likely to be after the password expiry date, so force another password change.

4) Implement a hardware only recovery option, in case the password is lost/forgotten, that requires someone to be physically on site. (i.e. a jumper inside the device).

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Boothy
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Re: And I still don't understand

No doubt it's the same people who respond to junk emails, and so still make it worth to miscreants to send those out :-/

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Boothy
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I had the same roll-back issue with Win updates no longer working.

I was on Win 7 64bit, updated to Win 10 (just to see what it was like really). Has lots of issues, So I rolled back to Win 7 after about 2 weeks of trying to fix things.

It took me a little while to realise that Windows Update was no longer checking for updates.

I then noticed that adding new music files to the Music folder, wasn't being added to the music library in Windows Media Player, my AV was no longer running scheduled checks, and my system backup had stopped auto running etc. etc.

It turns out anything that used Windows Task Scheduler was no longer working :-/

It seems restoring to your previous OS, messes up the scheduler, which is what was running all the above, now failing, processes!

You can confirm this is the issue, by going into 'Task Scheduler', selecting the scheduler library, then trying to view any task from the list. You'll get an error if it's corrupt.

Seems the format changed in Win 10, and it doesn't recover the earlier Win 7 tasks on roll-back!

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Boothy
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Re: My systems are setup to automatically

If you're on Win 7, get rid of KB2952664, KB3083710, KB2999226 & KB3112343 as well.

My Win update is working fine, although of course in manual install mode these days.

You just have to make sure none of the above turn up again (including the KB3035583 one you mention).

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Boothy
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Re: Haven't they heard

If it can be scaled, the net affect should be a reduction in energy usage, and so 'should' help the environment.

Water (liquid) cooling is much more efficient than air cooling, as used in traditional data-centres etc. Make the cooling more efficient, and you reduce the energy wasted spinning fans, cooling air etc.

Bear in mind, if the servers were not in this tin box in the water, then they'd be sat in some other data-centre anyway.

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Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

Boothy
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Mushroom

Mr Fusion

If it came with Mr Fusion, it'd be worth the 100k.

Icon, because...

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Microsoft struggles against self-inflicted Office 365 IMAP outage

Boothy
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Re: I feel their pain (the engineers actually)

I wonder if they've implemented some form of CI?

With automated testing, and not sorted out the issues before dismantling the test/QA team? So no 'net' to catch the issues, before they hit the real world!

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Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

Boothy
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Shame you can't just put a notice up stating it's open season on all none blue badged cars found in a disabled space.

Follow this up with a sign from the local police, stating that damage done to illegally parked cars, will not be considered as criminal damage, and therefore cannot be reported to them as a crime.

This would also mean no crime number, so insurance companies would likely not pay out for the damages without it removing any no claims etc.

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

Boothy
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Re: University of Sheffield

Quote: "And yet Sheffield has so many nice pubs".

Especially round the Kelham island area. Fat Cat, Riverside, the Kelham Island Tavern itself etc etc.

I've spent quite a few pleasant Friday afternoons with friends wandering from pub to pub, usually talking absolute bollocks, as you do.

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Boothy
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Re: Clue-less

<off topic>

Personally I'll like to be able to get a line without the phone bit.

That way I could use the whole lines bandwidth for VDSL, rather than having to give up the lower end of the spectrum to audio, that doesn't get used.

</off topic>

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Boothy
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Re: Stop being a smartarse who makes things worse

It always puzzled me why it was called 'clicking' in the first place.

A click is a sound, not an action.

Wouldn't 'tap' have been a better word to use?

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Boothy
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Happy

Re: Can't click any of the things on the screen

Quote: Hmm. I sense a business opportunity involving the production of widescreen mouse mats.

Don't forget to brand them as HD Ready.

You can then get them to upgrade to the True HD version later on, and then even later still, to the Ultra HD version. :-)

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Boothy
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Same for me. Unpredictable finish times.

Some (all?) of the IoT type heating systems, can be tied to one or more mobile devices (as well as local movement detection etc).

If no one is near, or currently approaching home, heating stays off. If it detects you heading towards home, it works out your ETA, and from past data, knows how long it takes to get the house up to temp, and so switches the heating on at the optimal point.

Likewise, if you leave the house and forget to turn the heating off, it can do it for you.

I kind of like that, the system would likely pay for itself within a year or two with the fuel savings.

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Boothy
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Re: Please not VR...again...

The difference this time round is that many people will have a device at home capable of supporting VR. (PC, PS4), or via the cheaper options, such as Google Cardboard and rivals, that use an existing smart phone.

Previous attempts at VR were too costly, only available in locations like arcades, tech shows etc. and of poor quality.

I'm not saying this will be the year of VR, but I think this will be the year for early adopters, and as the market grows, which I'm certain it will, more VR developers will jump on board with more interesting applications.

By 2017, economies of scale will mean the 2nd generation VR devices will be cheaper and more capable, and so will more from early adoption, to more mainstream.

3D was a gimmick, VR is actually immersive, when done right.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Boothy
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Re: In all fairness

Not sure about these days, but a few years back I had a contract Samsung on Orange, and OTA was disabled, even over wifi.

The only way to update was to install their horrible PC client, and do the update over USB 2.0, which seemed to take forever!

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Asda slammed for letting vulns fester on its cyber shelves

Boothy
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Mandatory security certification for all retailer/bank web sites

It's about time some form of mandatory security certification was implemented for all web sites hosting retailers, financial institutes, basically anyone that handles money or holds personal details.

Something simple to understand, along the lines of the food and hygiene certificates you get in places that sell food, with a simple 0-5 rating.

All the web sites would be required to show the rating in a consistent manner, in the same location on at least the home page, and the order processing pages.

Rather than hosting the certificate as an image, the actual web site code/html could be a simple bit of common code, used by all sites, using some unique company and/or site specific key, that generates the info-graphic dynamically (a vector format, rather than bitmap to keep the size down).

Clicking on the info-graphic on the page, would take you to a centrally hosted official (gov?) site, that holds all the records, and could give more details, such as the companies security history over the last 12 months or more.

Testing of sites should be a scripted/automatic [*] process that is updated regularly to keep pace, and performed say once per month, which automatically updates the rating if it changes, and notifies the site owners of these same changes, in case they need to do anything to fix issues etc.

You could implement a grace period, i.e. rating goes down by 1 point, so site has 1 week to fix the issues and re-evaluate before the info-graphic on the page is downgraded. If the rating goes down 2 points, they have 3 days to fix etc.

If they don't fix in time, their rating goes down, and won't go back up until the next monthly check, therefore basically shaming them for a month, and likely impacting their sales for that period.

Funding of the service should come from business taxes.

* You might not be able to automate everything, so a % of the rating might be based on other information, which might need to be captured via other means (ISO audit etc.).

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Boothy
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Re: horrible sign up process

Quote: "The had disabled copy/paste in the password fields so that my usual habit of using a password generator and then copy/pasting the password in was difficult."

I also use a password manager, and that's also one of my pet peeves.

If you're using Chrome (other browsers are available), there is an extension called "Don't f##k with paste" which seems to fix most of these issues.

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The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Boothy
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Re: Red thing?

I had a backpacking trip to South America a few years back, various countries, lots of highlights, and also included a few days up in the Atacama Desert.

I'm not one for emotional outbursts (my gf reckons I'm a Vulcan), but the night sky views really did take my breath away (the lack of oxygen up their not withstanding).

If you really enjoy your star gazing, that's the place to visit!

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Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Boothy
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Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

Likewise, I use FB in a limited way.

I decided some time back to not use the apps, asking for far too many permissions, and a resource hog.

My mobile access to FB now consists of a URL shortcut on one of the home screens.

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Trojan-filled Chrome extensions for Steam boil off gamers' assets

Boothy
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Re: making virtual crap worth actual money

I'm a Steam user, it's my primary gaming portal. But, I never got the point of the trading cards!

What benefit do they give me? By that I mean tangible benefits, i.e. will it give me something in game (a new gun, vehicle etc), will it give me early access, or unlock something not normally available?

If not, then what is their point? Why do they exists? Do people collect these just for the sake of it?

Genuine question, really, what are they for?

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Video game retailer GAME in email marketing FAIL

Boothy
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Re: The real fun starts...

We had someone do that with an internal email just yesterday, an email that had its very first line stating "DO NOT REPLY TO ALL", so they either didn't read, or didn't absorb that little bit of info!

A double fail really, since the original author of the email, also neglected to use BCC: !

Luckily there was only the one reply yesterday, but I've seen these run and run for hours before now!

It's like a mild IT version of the Darwin awards.

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The Day Netflix Blocked My VPN is the world's new most-hated show

Boothy
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Re: Thus Ends the Reign of Netflix

They could be throttling on traffic type, or by destination.

Both of which are, as far as I know, hidden by using a VPN. With VPN, the ISP just sees the connection to the VPN servers, they can't see what it's being used for or where the other end of the VPN is being connected to.

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Late night server rebuild led to 'nightmares about mutilated corpses'

Boothy
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Them: Please provide technical approval for this production change.

Me: When is it for?

Them: Friday afternoon.

Me: That's a no then, re-plan it for Mon, Tue or Wen next week, and for the morning. Bye.

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No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Boothy
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Re: I had another update unhide itself

KB whack-a-mole, I know it well :-/

From what I understand, they keep tweaking the existing patches rather than release a new one, so it pops up in WU again!

I guess at least that way, you start to recognise the KB numbers, without the need to reference your stick-it note again!

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Boothy
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I imagine the main controls, will as mentioned, just be a remote control device, although perhaps via clicking on a touch screen, rather than via direct forward/backwards/turn type controls.

But I can imagine with the throw away costs of things like the pi zero and similar boards, these will likely have lots of sensors and automated or semi-automated processing.

Which would allow for things like automatic firing of weapons (or defences).

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Boothy
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Re: Just my two penn'orth

@ TRT

I'd forgotten about the CD32! I had one of those as well.

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Boothy
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Re: Just my two penn'orth

@ Jedipadawan

Quote: "Did you code in Z80 'cause the BASIC and 1K couldn't do anything!!"

Short answer, yes.

Longer answer....

The ZX80 was a hand-me-down from a family friend who got a ZX81 in 1981. They knew I was interested in computers (well anything electronic really!). So gave me the ZX80 to play with.

I was 12 at the time and had no hands on experience with computers at the time, but they fascinated me,

As well as the ZX80, I was given some books on assemble language, including some samples, so started with those. (The Hex is strong in this one ;-)

I got myself a Zilog Z80 reference book, and some other reference materials, and just started to mess around.

By the time I got the Spectrum a year later in 1982, I was writing small games in assembly language, the largest one I wrote, being a sort of mining game, digging tunnels for gold (points) and being chased by ghosts (lost a life) etc.

I wrote a custom tape loader routine for the Spectrum, that avoided the need for the little BASIC loader that most other commercial games seemed to use at the time (which I'd figured out how to circumvent some time before). I could load my game into memory, without executing the code, load a graphical screen (load screen) to the display, and then dump the entire memory contents to tape in one burst of data. If you then loaded the tape on a newly started machine, it loaded the graphics to screen first (very badly drawn, I was never much of an artist!), and then it continued loaded the game in one continues screech of noise, automatically executing it once loaded.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), by the time I got to 14/15 my interests moved onto other things (girls/music) and so I never really moved into the 16bit side, other than being a consumer.

I still love playing games now, but I haven't tried to write anything since the good old days of 8 bit computing.

Wow, sorry for the length everyone, got carried away reminiscing! Happy days :-)

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Boothy
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Re: Just my two penn'orth

Similar to me.

Cut my teeth on ZX80, Spectrum 48 and 128, Amiga 500, 1200 and a 4000 (which I still have).

First Windows was an Me (yuc), quickly replaced the OS with 98 SE, then moved to XP. Jumped passed Vista to Win 7, which I've stuck with since.

I have tried Win 10, installed it on an i7 system, that had been running Win 7 64bit without issue. No blue screens, no stability issues of any sort, rock solid.

Win 10 on the same device was flaky at best. Would randomly decide to take 10 minutes or more to shut down, would sometimes start itself again immediately after being shut down for no apparent reason! General stability issues, control panels refusing to open, or taking way longer to open than they should have done, driver issues (despite all the HW being fairly new) etc etc etc. All in all a poor experience. So put Win 7 back on.

I'm a keen gamer, so need to stick with Win 7 (for now anyway), but I have just bought a new 512GB SSD, which I'll be installing in the same i7 box above, and be putting some form of Linux on as a dual-boot system. Not decided on flavour yet, but Debian is probably the top runner atm.

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Chinese unleash autonomous airborne taxi

Boothy
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Thumb Up

Wouldn't putting the blade arms at the top rather than the bottom be a better idea?

It would improve stability (more weight below rather than above the blades), and also means you're less likely to clip a blade on the ground etc if the thing shifted during takeoff or landing (i.e. gust of wind etc). Plus you'd have a better view as a passenger.

But otherwise, kudos to the designers, much more palatable that most of the previous attempts at a flying car.

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Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

Boothy
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Re: Missed it?

The Reg seem to have completely missed CES this time, which is a shame, plenty of stories and tech to discuss there at the moment.

Would have made for quite a few good forum discussions, an opportunity missed.

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The new Huawei is the world's fastest phone

Boothy
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Re: Faster charging?

It will still charge at 5v, just slower. So doesn't the 'commitment' you mention (which is voluntary anyway). Many tablets have been doing this for years, so it's nothing new.

Although it is a shame they are not just using an updated USB Power Delivery Specification, as this allows for up to 20 Volts at 5 Amps, so no need to do something custom.

They seem to be using a micro connector and USB 2.0, when for a new device, I'd expect USB 3.1, and a Type-C connector.

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Boothy
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Re: Elephant int the room

Game playing on a phone is a minor consideration to most people.

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We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever

Boothy
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Quote "The slowdown in the consumer technology market is irrefutable, serious and global,"

...and easily predictable, especially this last year.

There hasn't really been anything new to buy that has a real wide appeal, it's mostly just been minor improvements to things people already have, like Tablets, TVs, Mobile phones, Laptops etc. etc. People will already have those, and the new improvements are just not worth shelling out again for most people, especially if your current <device> still works fine.

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If you want a USB thumb drive wiped, try asking an arts student for help

Boothy
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Re: Encrypted drives

There needs to be a proper standard (ISO etc) that defines removable drive encryption.

Make it modular and extendible, i.e. ability to add/update/depreciate algorithms etc.

Add that to the OS, Win/OSX/Linux/iOS/Android etc. Probably as a 3rd party install initially, then as a core OS component later.

Then you'd be able to plug the drive into any machine, and as long as you have the correct credentials/key, you can access the drive.

Perhaps have a read-only option as well i.e. one key/credentials gives full read/write access, another key/credentials gives only read access.

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Thinking of buying a Surface? Try a modular OLED Thinkpad first

Boothy
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Mushroom

1366 x 766/768

1366 x 766 <-- Typo in the article?

Irrespective...

<rant>

768 (or less) displays should be consigned to the bin. I've had issues with some standard Windows control panels (including Win 10), not fitting properly on a 768 display (OK/Cancel off the bottom of the screen etc).

And wide screen on a laptop, a BUSINESS laptop, just NO! Wide screen is passable on a laptop that has a separate numeric pas, as they are a bit wider, but not on a standard laptop.

I've no issue with wide screen monitors themselves, but only as a separate display, and only as long as the pixel hight is big enough (i.e. 1200, 1440 +). But in a laptop, it's just wasting lid space.

I've got an old T420 at work, with a widescreen display. and it has wide plastic bands above and below the display, as the screen basically doesn't fit the space available in the lid! Very poor design.

</rant>

Anyone up for a bit of crowd funding to send someone round to all the screen manufacturing plants to <see icon> to all the equipment used to build 768 displays?

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

Boothy
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Quote: You know how the USA is NTSC while much of the world is PAL.

Not sure if you've noticed, but most placed had a bit of a digital switch over a few years back.

Most of the world is now using DVB-T, especially in the developed world, the remaining PAL countries are mostly limited to 2nd or 3rd world ones, with many of those in the process of switching, or at least planning to switch, to DVB-T.

The USA of course, decided to do its own thing, and now uses ATSC rather than NTFS.

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Press Backspace 28 times to own unlucky Grub-by Linux boxes

Boothy
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Re: Bah, non-issue

Is that you Hudson?

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Who needs CCTV? Get a terrifying slowpoke hoverdrone cam

Boothy
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Black Helicopters

Re: One step further

Add to that a heavy lift version with a winch, that could pick up the taser'd perps, and quite literally 'drop' them off at the nearest cop shop. :-)

I suddenly imagined local police stations with a chute on the roof, a motion detection camera on the way down to take the picture, and a Wallace and grommet type gadget at the bottom that pops a bright orange overall on them before they land!

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Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage

Boothy
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Re: Gracias

Same here, no email, and I have the 15GB free,15GB Camera roll bonus, and from who knows where, a 10GB Loyalty bonus.

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Nokia, ARM, twisting Intel bid to reinvent the TCP/IP stack for a 5G era

Boothy
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@ James 51

Yup, Technically 4G is just a tweaked 3G, and not actually a new generation.

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Still running IE10? Not for long, says Microsoft

Boothy
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Re: I have no idea what IE I have

I use a Ninite installer on any new machines, with Chrome (or Firefox if that's your preference), Foxit Reader, and a few other 'default' items.

That way I don't ever have to use IE :-)

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Facebook wants a kinder, gentler end for SHA-1

Boothy
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Re: Yes and No

Quote: " If you buy an Android phone that isn't rootable,..."

Or buy a Nexus device.

But otherwise, I think 'disgraceful' is an apt word to describe updating from many vendors.

I've got an LG Gpad tablet(v500), it's just over a year old, and still on 4.4 This despite a Google Play Edition of the same device, getting 5.1 back in April. :-/

Come on LG, extract finger and release 5.1 for the v500s! (or better yet, 6.0.1 which popped up OTA on my 2 year old Nexus 5 yesterday).

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Like a version? JDK 9 will point out its own flaws the very first time

Boothy
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Re: Number of digits

Your suggestion has a flaw. Using leading zeros gives you a hard upper limit. 9999 in your case.

A version number is not an arithmetic value. Version numbers don't typically include leading zero's.

i.e. 1.001 is the same as 1.1, and 1.9 would be followed by 1.10

Using this method, without leading zeros, means you have no practical upper limit to minor revisions, therefore meaning that Oracle could release as many security fixes as required (and as we all know, they will be required!).

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Google proffers plugs in Android MMS pwnfest

Boothy
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Re: ,or never,

The Android OS should be more like ChromeOS, the same OS irrespective of the devices origin.

You could then do the 'value add', by a simple 'branding on boot' process.

The 'branding' could be a simple zip file containing things like...

* wallpapers

* notification audio files

* manufacturers apps

* Bookmarks

* Device drivers

* Custom settings, including setting defaults, (i.e. use this background/ringtone/home page/app etc).

On first boot (or after a factory reset), the OS simply looks for a 'branding' file (or files). If there isn't one, you get a stock Android, (aka Nexus), if one exists, then during initial boot up, the branding items are applied.

Edit:

Forgot to mention, of course OS updates should be OTA and direct from Google, only the branding component would be produced by the Manufacturer/Carrier, and even then, generated via tools provided by Google.

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Wow, what took you so long? Comcast bends net neutrality rules

Boothy
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Doesn't Sky do this?

Doesn't Sky do this in the UK?

Last time I looked, if you have their Broadband, anything you stream or download to your Sky box, isn't counted against your usage allowance.

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Report fingers China for assault on Australian weather supercomputer

Boothy
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Why can they even connect to it

Why is this thing even connected directly to the net?

Shouldn't there be some isolation going on here? And not just a Firewall, something like an ESB.

All the users connect to the broker, and it then validates the security and the requests before passing on to the super.

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