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* Posts by Fred M

55 posts • joined 17 Aug 2011

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'CAPTAIN CYBORG': The wild-eyed prof behind 'machines have become human' claims

Fred M

Re: "he installed a chip in his arm"

Opening the garage door is exactly what I do with mine. (See video part way down the page.) More stuff to come, but I've only had it a couple of weeks.

http://0xfred.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/my-nfc-implant/

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Could a 'Zunewatch' be Microsoft's next hardware foray?

Fred M

Well the .NET Micro Framework started out on those SPOT watches many years ago. It would seem likely that this would be what they'd use as there seems to be renewed effort heading that way recently. It'd be nice to see it come full circle.

The .NET Micro Framework was open sourced by the way, once the watches were abandoned. Isn't is strange how Apple is now the locked down corporate monster and Microsoft is (relatively) open these days?

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London Tube has new stop at Azure Station

Fred M

Re: I see that TFL's boundary has grown...

Don't forget that quaint little tennis playing town of Wimbleton.

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EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing

Fred M

Re: EE and Vodafone?

It should be possible to have an Oyster app for any NFC enabled phone. However I believe that the PAYG Oyster balance is stored on the card for speed of retrieval (despite what this article suggests). It's pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that an app on the phone might be more susceptible to reverse engineering or hacking than when embedded on an Oyster card.

@WonkTheSane - You're right that this requires NFC and excludes Apple, but so does this payment system. NFC underpins how both Oyster and contactless bank payments work. It'll all be OK in a year's time when the innovative geniuses at Apple "invent" NFC.

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Sonos offers updated music controller to Fandroids for testing

Fred M

Re: Confused

You know the graphic mock up will have been done by an iPhone toting hipster in the marketing department on his Mac.

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Fred M

Re: Are they running on XP Embedded ?

My thoughts exactly. Surely a device with restricted functionality and a very basic UI shouldn't be running a desktop OS, or even something like XP Embedded. I'd have though something like an ARM microcontroller coded directly in C be up to the job? It'd be far less vulnerable to attack and probably cheaper too.

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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

Fred M

My surprise disconnection

I recently switched from Sky to BT and whilst it's a definite improvement I've also had an unexpected disconnection. Rather than send me my first bill (or any warning that they were due a payment) BT very helpfully just cut off my broadband. Nice.

Also the "engineer" who installed it left with the broadband partially working and no phone. "Not my area of expertise. Maybe it'll work better tomorrow."

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

Fred M

Tado

I can thoroughly recommend the Tado. It was a easy to install and works very well. They're currently offering a free visit for installation but you probably won't need it.

The beta version I got had issues with Sky broadband (and of course Sky won't let you change their awful router or DNS servers). Once we'd identified the problem a Tado engineer and new firmware written and remotely deployed within a day. Great service.

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WTF is ... 802.15.4e?

Fred M

Re: Zigbee?

Thanks. That clarification was what the article was missing.

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Google reveals its Hummingbird: Fly, my little algorithm - FLY!

Fred M

Top Googling top

Here's my top tip for getting the most out of Google's search algorithms:

1. Use Bing for a whole day

2. Go back to Google

3. Realise you have very little to complain about

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Want FREE BEER for the rest of your life?

Fred M

I really did have that

You may not believe Jake, but I did have that about 20 years ago - initially misdiagnosed as ME. It's nowhere nears as nice as it sounds. It wasn't like being drunk all the time but more like permanently coping with a hangover. An anti yeast treatment sorted me out and I was so happy that it did.

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Sammy had Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Swiss Fanny madam's blast

Fred M

Re: Headline excellence...

"If you really can't see why .... then I'm not going to explain it to you."

@Ledswinger If anyone had any doubts that you were a genuine female Reg reader (rather than just a guy trolling) then you squashed that right there.

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British Bebo founder buys back social network for $849m profit

Fred M

Re: First ever social networking site?

Friend Reunited was indeed before 2001, but wasn't social networking. In fact I had a meeting with Friends Reunited to discuss collaborating on them developing the social networking side of things.

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Fred M

Re: Local shop, for local people

I think Bebo was an excellent example of how the UK is not the place for social networking. I'll give you a short history lesson of social networking...

Many years ago (early 2001) some friends and I started the first ever social networking site - the long forgotten EveryonesConnected.com - well before MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, etc. Being based in the UK we found that UK venture capital was too sensible and cautious to invest. The term social networking wasn't even being used and they couldn't see any exit strategy. [Sidenote: Is there one?] Anyone in the US couldn't see past their shores and weren't interested in anything that wasn't physically US-based.

Shortly afterwards the Birches (who ran Birthday Alarm) started Ringo, which I also believe was UK-based. I can't find anything to confirm this so I'm relying on my memory, but I remember that the Birches shut up Ringo, moved to the US and started Bebo. They seemed to immediately get investment and interest. That kind of supported my suspicion that being US-based was essential if you were going to make a financial success of it.

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Websites to 'close' for China's 'Internet maintenance day'

Fred M

Christmas Day

That reminds me of the time that my stepfather's WiFi was playing up and I told him the internet was closed as it was Christmas Day.

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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Fred M

A busy market - but the Agent looks the most interesting

I've been a fan of smart watches for a while - had one of the Sony MBW-150s and a TI Chronos (true geek dev watch rather than smart watch). I've been following many of the ones you mentioned with interest. I'm really keen on being able to create apps ON the watch rather than just sending alerts to it. The MSP430-based Metawatch had promise but was really buggy early on. The Pebble is definitely interesting but not what I wanted.

I have to say the Agent ticked all the boxes for me so I backed it straight away. I've just switch to WP8 (previously very happy on Android) so support for that is a big plus, as is wireless charging. Being able to dev (and even debug I believe) on the watch using Visual Studio is huge. I'm familiar with the Netduino so am confident the guys will deliver what they promised. I know Eadon will troll away, but the .NET microframework should be able to deliver a high quality dev environment for writing phone apps. It should the first really good smart watch - as opposed to just a notification system on your wrist.

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iPhone too heavy? Volkswagen brings out motorised ride-on dock

Fred M

Hipster detection complete

My hipster twat detector used to require both a Vespa and a helmet with Momo Designs written on it. Now it just needs an iBeetle. (I wonder what team of geniuses spent hours in a design workshop to come up with that name.)

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Game designer spills beans on chubby-fancying chap with his stolen Mac

Fred M

Re: Why not go get it?

Ah - ok. I didn't read the website because it's tagged NSFW and I'm AW. As someone else pointed out though - he's eBaying stuff so it should be easy enough to catch him.

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Fred M

Why not go get it?

If he's got "accurate geolocation data" then why not go get his laptop back?

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Ten Windows tablets

Fred M

I stopped reading when I got the the phrase "End Of." because:

a) It's the most annoying phrase in the world. (And fondleslab comes pretty close.)

b) It was the end, wasn't it?

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

Fred M

Batteries OR flywheel

All this talk of whether batteries are better. Just use a load of batteries for the mass of the flywheel and you've doubled your storage. Hybrid storage FTW.

What could possibly go wrong? I'm off to patent it now...

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Fred M

A late convert to the M

I'd read a few of his fiction books but only got into the Culture series as a result of the "best SF films never made" on here. Thoroughly enjoying them.

It's inspiring to see someone deal with such a tough situation so well. Another example was Steve Evans from Wolverhampton on BBC News this morning.

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Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Fred M

Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Can anyone actually recommend a broadband provider. I want to move from Sky becuase the router you're forced to use is rubbish. Every other provider I consider turns out to be "the worst ever".

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Linus Torvalds in NSFW Red Hat rant

Fred M

Re: @John Smith 19 (was: Carlsberg? Eww! (was: Quite frankly.....))

Isn't glass opaque to UV? Hence no suntan in a greenhouse and the fact that you can engrave glass with a UV laser.

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The cheap 3D craft pen that scribbles over 3D printing hype

Fred M

Wow. I'd take one of these with the "XYZ positioning accessory that plugs into a computer" over a 3D printer any day.

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

Fred M

and what's really annoying is that many of them won't accept a + in your email address. (For those who don't know, adding a "+company" to the first part of a gmail address is a good way to identify and block when your address gets passed on to third parties.)

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Toshiba reveals spin transfer RAM

Fred M

Apple to patent "imparting spin – the angular momentum possessed by an electron – to a storage medium *in a mobile device*" in 3... 2... 1...

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Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone

Fred M
Coffee/keyboard

Lucky escape

"Working at our company is tough. It calls for someone who can take the pain and suffering."

I'd be annoyed too if I'd missed a great job like that.

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How to launch people into space...

Fred M
Trollface

Gruesome

Anyone else want to know more about the "rather more gruesome tests"?

(Troll face because I've seen what people look like in one of those centrifuges.)

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Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs

Fred M

Other mispronunciations

I once interview someone for a job programming in a language that he called "C hash". Needless to say he didn't get it.

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WTF is... NFC

Fred M

Very poor article for the Reg

Not the best researched article on The Register. As Richard12 points out, passive NFC is powered in exactly the same way as RFID because it *is* high frequency (13.56MHz) RFID - with comms happening in both directions. More basic RFID is 125kHz but works in much the same way.

There are plenty of NFC enabled phones - my Galaxy Nexus being one obvious example. It worked fine with Google Wallet using the free pre-paid card but there was no way to associate a UK credit card with it.

Also, a HUGE unnecessary chunk of the article talking about Apple when there's not really anything to say about Apple and NFC.

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Orange enables Samsung Galaxy SIII bonking

Fred M

I'd be happy to give this a try on my Orange Galaxy Nexus, but strangely it appears to be GS3 only. Why?

I hacked Google Wallet on there a while ago, but after the $10 sign-up cash there's no way to use it in the UK.

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NASA's $2.5bn Curiosity rover: An Apple PowerBook on wheels

Fred M

The irrelevent Apple mention

I've got to agree with the other comments about the pointless inclusion of Apple in the title. Yes - it's clear from the text that Apple had nothing to do with Curiosity but it's lazy fanboi journalism. The most recent one that irked me was on the BBC News site - "Apple chip designer Arm Holdings in 23% profits boost" - where the first word of the headline has to be Apple even though they're just one of many ARM customers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18980476

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HSBC brands EVERY Apple iPhone 'an insecure PC'

Fred M

Re: Is this the same Rapport...

Yes. I was at a security conference last year where there was a session on it. Avoid Rapport like the plague. I'd change banks rather than install it.

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Google opens up pay-by-bonk Wallet to all credit cards

Fred M

Re: Still US Only ....

Exactly. A bit amiss of a UK site not mentioning that it's unavailable here. (Although I've successfully spent Google's free $10 on coffee.)

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Disable Gadgets NOW says Redmond

Fred M

Re: Ooooo Really.

'"But I am not a dog!" said Zippity, looking rather alarmed.'

"I'm also not called Zippity", said Zebedee, looking rather irritated.

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Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Fred M

"Hot on the heels of Apple's release" - What's this got to do with Apple?

Google have a prototype. Olympus have a prototype. As far as I know Apple only have a vague patent on peripheral vision that they'll use for trolling and lining some lawyers' pockets in the future.

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So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down

Fred M

" In my experience good techies are really uncomfortable with actually lying"

In my experience of RBS staff in India, they have absolutely no problem at all with lying. Lying and not getting caught seemed to be the complete moral equivalent of telling the truth,

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Darwin alarmed by six-legged mutant cane toad

Fred M

There's a photo if you follow the link to the original article.

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RBS collapse details revealed: Arrow points to defective part

Fred M

Been there, done it

Having seen first-hand what happened to bits of RBS as they were outsourced to India, this comes as no surprise at all. Incompetent doesn't even come close.

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Wealthy Kensington & Chelsea residents reject BT fibre cabinets

Fred M

Could be worse

At least you can make phone calls. Down in Reigate my local MP (who doesn't live in the area) proudly announced how he'd stopped the installation of an "unsightly" mobile phone mast. Screw the fact that some people might like to make a phone call once in a while.

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WTF is... Li-Fi?

Fred M

Some obvious flaws

How come the article avoids mentioning the obvious flaws? (Or the solutions if I'm wrong.)

* As a few commenters have already said - you need the lights on.

* Strong sunlight will probably swamp the signal.

* What sort of light source will the return channel need? A tiny LED will probably not get though. Do you need a USB-connected desklamp aimed at back your MiFi router?

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Everything Everywhere activates top-secret erections

Fred M

I do seem to have better Orange reception today that I usually do. Not exactly a definitive test though.

> getting a message to tell her she's had missed calls but her phone hasn't rung or text messages taking up to 4 hours to come through

That sounds like a strangely familiar scenario!

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It's all in the wrist: E-ink smartwatch Pebble bags $2m

Fred M

Let's wait and see

I was tempted to jump in on this (not that they need any more) but decided against it. The watch looks great but there have been many before it that have looked good and had me salivating at their potential but then failed to deliver when reviewed. I'll wait until they're available for general sale and I know if I'm getting what I thought I was getting.

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Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Fred M

The same thing happened at RBS after it was rescued and hence mostly government owned. Work moved to India. Lots of IT redundancies.

Everyone who's seen Indian outsourcing in action can guess what happened next. Quality went down the pan. Costs actually went up after initially looking like they were lower. Total screw up.

This will be a monumental disaster. And that's BEFORE considering any privacy issues.

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Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC

Fred M

Acid Rain

I'm just amazed that the Acid Rain hasn't killed us off already.

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So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Fred M

Citizen Kane

I know it's often voted one of the best film ever made so I watched it. At least I tried. I gave up waiting for something to happen after the first hour.

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Apple: We never said Siri would actually work in the UK

Fred M

You're holding it wrong

Apple would obviously consider this user error. You're holding it about 5000 miles east of where you're supposed to.

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New Earth-observing satellite snaps 'blue marble' shot

Fred M

@David W.

Fascinating story there, David W. I was just waiting for the point to it and then suddenly ...Bam! It ended.

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Windows 8 will show where it likes to be touched

Fred M

Windows stickers

I found a great use for those stickers. A friend's mac laptop looked great with "Designed for Windows XP" on it.

Anyway, back to the point of the article. Yeah. Showing where the NFC is is simple and useful. If Apple had done it then it would be viewed as a (probably patented) miracle of usability.

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