* Posts by Nifty

402 posts • joined 13 Sep 2012

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Nifty
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Networked stereo - Hmm interesting

That's the bit that caught my attention.

I've looked for, and never found, a pair of quality Bluetooth speakers that can do stereo without a wire connection between a 'master' and 'slave' unit.

Ideal scenario is one speaker plugs into the wall socket on one side of the fireplace, the other into a wall socket on opposite side, no connecting wire. And/or they have a 10 hour battery pack inside for true portability.

One of the issues with wireless stereo is wave coherence - they need to be in sync to a very tiny proportion of a second or stereo image will be weird.

Many moons ago I had a pair that connected L with R via an analogue signal over the mains (like the old phone line extenders). That actually worked well.

So how did Sengled solve it?

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IBM and Apple sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g e-n-t-e-r-p-r-i-s-e b-u-y-e-r-s

Nifty
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Do they come preloaded with a matte screen or alternatively a dark room to use them in?

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Wait, what? TrueCrypt 'decrypted' by FBI to nail doc-stealing sysadmin

Nifty
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Truecrypt will become obsoleted on Windows

If it has not happened already, a future version of Windows will fail to support Truecrypt in any compatibility mode.

Go figure.

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Nifty
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Re: yes

Are you sure that the latest clever Rainbow tables don't include common substitutions for letters, so putting entropy back to plain words level?

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Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

Nifty
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The fatal flaw in this thinking - expensive printers will hit landfill as fast as cheap ones

I had to take a an 18 month old Canon all-in-one the landfill when it failed one day.

(After I checked the internal fuses first).

Bought another similar Canon the next day as it was cheap enough.

Nevertheless, annoyed about the un-repairabiliy and landfill aspects.

If Epson were to offer a 4 year no quibble guarantee on their £300 printers, plus describe some eco credentials like they actually refurbish rather than dump returned machines, I'd be in.

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

Nifty
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The technology of creating millions of copies from a master tape to sell as products was invented last century. For a short heyday for artists and more so for the publishers, they could make cheap and sell dear. Some got very rich very fast. Then the very same technology - to be able to make cheap copies - came into the private user domain. What those publishers want to preserve is that short lived heyday of getting rich fast, forever.

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Nifty
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The Shanghai Maglev is still used as a template for UK rail infrastructure planning - expensive state-funded vanity schemes that manage not to be useful.

E.g a Crossrail that won't link HS2 with Heathrow properly, instead you will wander across main roads with your luggage or with luck get a bus or tube connection to make the final link.

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Nifty
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Re: So,an invasion route ...

The rumours that U.S. is now going to sell the Alaska that it bought off the Russians to the Chinese are NOT TRUE!

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Wow, another NSA leak: Network security code appears on GitHub

Nifty
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Re: NSA?

Unable to connect to that link from work. Is it NSFW?

( https://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/app/Spotting \_the_Adversary_with_Windows_Event_Log_Monitoring.pdf )

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Microsoft starts switching on paid Wi-Fi service with latest Windows 10 preview

Nifty
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Yawn

When what punters really expect from a company with such an international presence is on demand, by-the-day 3g/4g data in any country you alight upon - an "Amazon Global Wireless for Kindle" on steroids.

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Ditch crappy landlines and start reading Twitter, 999 call centres told

Nifty
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Re: Mobile phone location....

Landline, since it was invented - they know the exact address of the emergency (exception - company numbers).

Mobile - triangulated - within 500m. With GPS - 10m. Trouble is, no-one thought to put any technology in place to easily send the GPS coords to the emergency centre.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

Nifty
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My T42 has passed to mums household, running XP for occasional needs.

At home is a T410, Windows 7, running nicely. Oh and and a 2nd on under the TV as an entertainment hub.

Typing this on the work W520.

Among the desirable attributes are FIXABILITY.

What other brand has numbered or illustrated screw holes on the underside to remind you which screw loosens which item? Or a keyboard that pops off with 3 mins work?

Over the years I've replaced various parts - drives, keyboards, it's the fix ability (parts off Ebay) I like.

And the stream of ex-corp ones that will arrive later that can be bought for home use.

Experience of office colleagues has regrettably been that the W5x series is nowhere near as reliable as the T series, overheating and motherboard failure being typical.

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All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

Nifty
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Re: so if they were just doing street mapping

Um you did notice the drivers seat was empty?

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Virgin Media starts its broadband-of-the-gaps fibre rollout

Nifty
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Re: cable my street

That's probably why all those flat-dwelling Koreans have such poor internet then

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Nifty
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Re: cable my street

Ditto with me (due to a new address-to-postcode assignment). So I emailed Virgin and badgered them. As a result they claim to be cabling my street - in this case a potentially lucrative single block of 40 flats developed 1 year ago and sitting adjacent to a Virgin junction cabinet all along - real soon now.

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Beats loudspeaker silenced by Apple after $3bn buyout, report claims

Nifty
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Re: There's no such thing as an adequate Bluetooth speaker

Apple could try inventing a HiFi Bluetooth standard and call it something like APTX then.

Oh wait it already exists, it's been around for 20 years.

it's just that Apple refuses to implement this HiFi Bluetooth standard on it's devices.

Not even on the iPhone 6.

e.g.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6532980?tstart=0

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Future Range Rovers will report pot-holes directly to councils

Nifty
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That's the problem with the low profile tyres the Range Rover fashion victims drive around on - you feel every bump.

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Hackers steal files on 4 million US govt workers

Nifty
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Re: count down timer for bad guys?

I think it was Frank Abagnale (who inspired the film "Catch me if you Can"') that said an identity thief is MOST likely to strike more than a year after the moment of the info theft itself.

So yes move that back from 12 to 18, job's a good'un.

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Nifty
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Look! We got a long list of social security numbers.

What's ""social security"?

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China cracks down further on VPNs as censorship intensifies

Nifty
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A few days spent inside the Firewall and you will appreciate that it's quite difficult to do day to day IT business from inside China. You simply cannot predict which innocuous tech-help or medical article you will/won't e able to access. I pity the hobbled professionals who have to work there. China is putting brakes on it's own economic development like this.

India's GDP grew by more than China's last year.

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My life under Estonia's digital government

Nifty
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Re: Jobsworths say no

Saved me the typing

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It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

Nifty
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W10 will phone home to convert your W7 license to a W10 one.

When you start the original W7 you cloned from it'll phone home and announce you have invalid Windows and shut down.

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Nifty
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W7 borked (by design) recording from the soundcard.

W8 borked many USB sticks and driver dependent devices. e.g. my Q2 radio setup program. Without that I'd have a bricked Q2 after some time as the radio servers change.

Will W10 bork Get_iPlayer and a load of other things that currently still work on W7 like Sansa Clip+ USB port access?

How good will W10's backward compatibility modes be? Questions, questions.

I'll wait till the 364th day and see.

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New twist in China Apple hardware ban riddle: THE TRUTH at last?

Nifty
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Surely it's about time that Apple moved it's production out of China?

Or does it fear a backlash on import restrictions for the lucrative Chinese consumers?

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Swarm of Apple iRobots released to map interior of Cupertino HQ

Nifty
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I think we already called the clipboard-bearers who do the office layout and office population check 'headcount droids'.

The info is fed into an algorithm that decides the next office site closure.

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Land Rover's return: Last orders and leather seats for Defender nerds

Nifty
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The only Land Rover in China?

Over 10 years ago a friend of mine did a personal import of a Land Rover into China and I have an indelible memory of being driven out of Beijing and into the mountains in his Khaki green example, seating position above the traffic. His was a diesel example and he must have been the only private diesel vehicle in Beijing where normally you cannot own a diesel private cars at all.

China was 20 years ahead of us in this pollution control aspect. How he got the import paperwork through is still a mystery. At the time I think this may have been the only Landrover in Beijing.

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Hacker launches ransomware rescue kit

Nifty
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Re: Detection better than cure?

By planting some reference files that can be compared?

And the only help that encryption detection can offer is to warn you not to overwrite your backups.

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Nifty
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Re: New OS approach needed

It's called IOS and is not popular with everyone.

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Nifty
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Detection better than cure?

The 'test your restores often idea' is obvious but could this not be made easier by a regular scan by a utility that can test if your online files are encrypted or not and flag up accordingly? Such a utility would need to detect and bypass silent decryption being done by malware.

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Google DOG WHISTLING fails to send URLs across the room

Nifty
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Another airgap-proof virus vector?

Nuff said

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ALIBABA Vs AMAZON: Let the Global Tat Bazaar war begin

Nifty
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They will be hampered by the current protectionist system

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Nifty
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Deathbed? For small items I read the review on Amazon first, then go to Ebay and buy it.

As I'm not prepared to do the 6 Amazon click-hroughs to discover the standard UK postage cost while Ebay shows it upfront.

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Roku 3: Probably the best streaming player on the market ... for now, at least

Nifty
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The Roku has apps for all 4 service - iPlayer, ITV, 4OD, Demand 5.

But the range of catch up viewing seems restricted on the non-iPlayer ones when compared to their web versions or is it just hard to navigate?

And as mentioned above, iPlayer is currently half-broken with Roku not responding to requests for a fix.

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Nifty
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Compulsory firmware updates that break your Roku apps

Periodically and on powering up the Roku 3 checks and updates it's version.

This broke BBC iPlayer by putting black bands top & bottom of screen that actually obscure part of the content. Ironically the cheap Now TV lookalike box is not affected!

There's a thread running in the Roku forum for over a month now - no fix in sight and a deafening silence from Roku themselves.

Is this the only STB that has compulsory, non defeatable updates?

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Mad Max: Fury Road – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action

Nifty
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Know what you mean by the 80s one not aging well. Total Recall is another that could be remade today with great effect.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Nifty
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Re: Barriers to purchase

You will probably find that movie release cycles and regional policies were more consistent in the 50s!

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Nifty
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A tip if your Powerline is next to router but inexplicably slow

I have found that placing the in-plug switching power supply of the main WiFi router right next to a Powerline adapter seriously slowed it down. Ensuring an air gap of a meter improved the speed greatly. Presumably some sort of inductive interference.

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Nifty
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Re: Noise!

I gave up SW listening in the 90s with my last receiver, a lovely British designed Lowe.

Even in the 90s where was sufficient digital rubbish from appliances and gadgets to prevent clean listening.

Sold it to someone who presumably lived on a rock in the North Sea.

Today if I want a quick DX I go to a virtual receiver e.g.

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

(search websdr for more)

Books, TV, now SQ receives, what device can't be replaced by the internet?

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The next Nest? We talk to Ring, the doorbell-come-security system

Nifty
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Re: A general problem with IoT devices

A $200 device attached to your front door with 2 small screws will get nicked or maybe vandalised. A $20 one won't and can be easily replaced anyway. Where's the solution that puts $20 worth of sensors on the front door and the rest of the gubbins elsewhere?

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Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

Nifty
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Send all donations

to the Green party in Bitcoin

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Grooveshark closes, blames 'serious mistake' of not paying for music

Nifty
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" I'm still unsure of why an MP3 album from Amazon can cost more than the CD"

added value - saves a trip to the landfill

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Nifty
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no IOS zone?

This looks spookily as if someone - a rogue passenger? - did this

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/22/apple_no_ios_zone_bug/

and spoofed the plane's WiFi system to ensure the pilots' iPads would bite...

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Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Nifty
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Put the rubbish on DAB, decent stuff on FM

If they were to put all the mono compressed low bitrate stuff on DAB (oh, it's mostly already there...), it would make lots of lovely room on FM!

6 Music, 4xtra, World Service all to listen to reliably on my car radio.

Then I woke up.

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

Nifty
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Re: Taxes etc

Does that mean dipping the tax return in a special sauce so that it all comes out right?

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Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

Nifty
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Re: This is exactly the problem

Ms Lovelace featured prominently in the drama on Babbage's life

It's no longer available but here's the info

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02x939n

it was a interesting if slightly weird listen.

Now would be the right time for a repeat (maybe on 4 Extra) as the BBC is having it's computer season.

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Nifty
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Where's in the design is the special provision for carrying fibre?

All this whingeing about far flung farms having nearly no internet, yet they all seem to have pylons going through their land.

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Nifty
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Re: If you have an old DAB,

Prove that Doppler effect was ever relevant to consumer radio. Links please.

DAB cleverly gets around multipath signal cancellation. Your receiver gets the signal simultaneously from multiple directions and selects the best bit stream and pieces it together with the best bit streams it can find at other frequencies possibly from a different transmitter. So much tech promise, so little culturally delivered however.

RDS FM meanwhile, so long as you invest in a decent car radio, is proving highly effective. As soon as you enter a marginal signal area your receive silently and instantly seeks/switches to the signal from any better available transmitter. The *real* breakthrough - in the 1980s! - was RDS and it's this success that DAB is having trouble dislodging.

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Nifty
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Re: " it is harder to spot in a car most of the time."

Due to married domesticity the car is the only place I listen to decent stereo sound on loudspeakers (when walking it's via high quality earbud type earphones).

On my 6 speaker non-DAB car radio I really do appreciate the stereo image listening to downloads. Listening in mono would be an aberration, therefore investing in car DAB would be a waste of money - all rock stations on DAB are mono. Never do serious listening to Radio 4 extra on DAB - ironically R4 extra has an excellent back catalogue of stereo drama recordings best appreciated over internet radio.

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Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills

Nifty
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And just this morning, something else that's fishy

Farming Today this morning - this scheme http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/cfp/control/technologies/ers/index_en.htm - laptop data entry on fishing vessels then uploading it. What could possibly go wrong?

And this recent fail:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/26/part_of_cap_it_system_may_be_scrapped_after_digital_fail/

Avoidance of apps and mobile devices in favour of laptops. Weird when you think what a productive and creative app ecosystem is out there.

We need is a compact optical/WiFi device to clip onto our old electricity & gas meters that sends images to a cloud for digitization. Random checks by wetware meter readers. Done cheaply in months.

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