* Posts by Down not across

387 posts • joined 21 Mar 2013

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

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Shock! People on 24 month contract don't upgrade every 8 months

HTC’s One M8 was down 23 per cent on the previous M7. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was 33 per cent down on the Galaxy S4. And Sony launched two flagships eight months apart, but neither matched the popularity of their predecessor; the Z2 was 23 per cent down and the Z3 61 per cent down.

There is a hint up there especially with Sony, but equally valid point for Samsung and others. Most people (if they have gone the more or less subsidised route) are stuck with 18-24 month contracts. spewing out new models constantly doesn't fit in with the contract lengths. Combine that with the fact that mobiles have kind of plateaud a bit with no earth shattering reasons for people to upgrade and that will all hit sales.

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

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Covering their own backsides

Police and other agencies have undertaken their own risk assessment, and have identified and taken any steps necessary to ensure the protection of officers.

That's ok then. Never mind if disclosure of any of the data might be harmful to a civilian.

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Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

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Re: good job

Did you read the article?

The US regulator said the cell network must pay back $40m to customers who used its prepaid unlimited data plan and found their connections deliberately strangled, stretching the definition of "unlimited."

I think you may have misunderstood who is getting what.

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Symantec sources claim exec teams in place by April Fools' Day

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Veritas

amid talk that senior management may revive the Veritas storage brand.

Oh, haven't done good enough job tarnishing and destroying it yet?

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

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F*** chrome

There is of course one "modern" browser that does run on on Windows 7 and that is already becoming many companies' second browser of choice: that is Chrome.

Spartan might be the future of Microsoft's browser strategy, but it sure makes a convincing case for IT pros to go with Chrome instead. ®

Except it doesn't make convincing case at all. And there are lot more choices out there than Chrome. Much better choices. In my humble opinion of course.

The article reads like Gavin is angling for a job at Googpleplex or something.

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US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Just imagine...

- You're not going to believe this ULYSSES. How am I supposed to deploy air-to-ground to munitions onto my target when the bunker is now at 18000 feet doing 900 knots?

You owe me a keyboard...

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

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Re: BT bashing

For those folks who want to pay by cheque or credit card, or manual bank transfer, a good many of them will ignore that bill. They'll wait a week or so for the red notice that asks them not to forget, and points out that they'll be disconnected in 7 days. Finally, after 7-8 days, most pay. We've all heard them bragging in the pub about how they never pay until they get the first, or even second, red notice, so they can keep the money in their account. Charging them £4 extra is partly a way to discourage it, partly a way to make up for the lost interest and bad debts that they cause. It's a perfectly reasonable approach that keeps costs down for the rest of us.

"A good many"? Really? Arguable. In any case at least you didn't even try "all". Until you someone actually does not pay in time, it is pretty criminal to charge anything just in case they might not pay on time.

Kinda reminds me of the stupid "Piracy is stealing!" clips that everyone is forced to watch if they purchase a DVD. Same thing, lets just treat everyone like pirates because they could be, not because they really are. Pirates don't need to watch through that crap.

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Sly peers attempt to thrust hated Snoopers' Charter into counter-terror and security bill

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The whole fast-track process is flawed

There should be no need to fast-track anything. No legislation should be passed without adequate scrutiny.

...not that the scrutiny necessarily makes any difference with the weasels involved.

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Seagate's spinning rust most likely to crash, claims backup biz

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Re: seagate drives

I was at a tech conference not that long ago where seagate had a booth - all of us were complaining about drive reliability - and they pulled the same line - how the drives were desktop drives not enterprise drives...maybe I'm showing my age but even desktop drives USED to carry some sense of reliability...

Yeah, that is a pretty poor excuse. Lets face it from purely environmental point of view enterprise deployment (generally 24/7, stable cooled, humidity controlled data centre) is lot easier on the drive mechanics and electronics than constant temperature/humidity fluctuation along with many start/stop (power on,spin up/spin down,power off,park) cycles.

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Toshiba tosses out uber-slim THREE TERABYTE HDD

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Re: Speaking of sexy names

Didn't the Bigfoot brand cover 5.25 inch drives? The Fireball was the 3.5" line. I guess they could go back and have Bigfoot as 3.5", and Fireball as 2.5" drives.... but it would be a pale imitation, and feel like it was trading on nostalgia - poorly.

Yes. Fireball being bit odd with AT being 7200rpm and TM 5400rpm. Then they had the nice fast (10k/15k) Atlas SCSI drives. IIRC they were designed by the storage division Quantum bought from DEC.

If Seagate did roll out a proper Bigfoot 5.25" SATA drive with the same (average) areal density as these little nippers, that would be trading on nostalgia, and doing it right.

Nah. To do the nostalgia right (especially taking into account we're talking about Seagate now), they'd have to do a 5.25 full-height monstrosity (ie like the old ST4096 MFM drive (that some of us ran with RLL controllers to get some extra capacity out of it ...at the expense of reliability ( that to be fair was not great to begin with)).

Current tech would get a lot more than 80MB out of the 9 head design...

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Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

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Fast track

Funny how much of the suspicious legislation is rushed through fast track to avoid too close scrutiny.

There shouldn't be any fast track. For any legislation. All legislation should face thorough scrutiny and debate before being passed.

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Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

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Re: I don't need 4k

But given that BBC1 can't even do local frigging news in even HD yet excuse me if don't get excited.

That is so stupid. Especially showing that "This is not yet available in HD in your area" screen...surely they could just show the SD version (letterbox it inside the notice if they must) so that one wouldn't need to change change to another channel (or more to the point suffer the notice until the local bit is over).

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Sphere 3D: Our pop-out 2TB disk product? Of COURSE it's rugged

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Re: Proof I'm Old

I've long lost the stack of SQ400s I had.

I did stumble across a box of CompacTape cartridges however.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

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Re: What a revolutionary idea agile seems

Actually getting the customers input to the problem before the "solution" is set in concrete.

Who knew?

Hehe. Quite.

We all know that in general the customer doesn't know how to explain (well enough for a spec to be written) and/or know (usually case of both..) what it is that they need (was going to say want, but they usually want truckloads more than what they actually need).

Rapid development cycle and the customer being more directly involved greatly alleviates the problem which is probably the most useful part of agile.

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

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Huawei only supplier?

Hmm... I thought EADS (that bought most of TETRA stuff from other companies (for example Nokia) had something similar. Perhaps it never saw light of day past its announcement.

Ah here we go, it was Cassidian (Alcatel-Lucent)

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Among the many things he needs data service for, is sending GPS/location reports back to command & control to allow him to be tracked

Perhaps not the best example. Sending GPS coordinates is only few bytes and TETRA would be more than capable of handling that. :-)

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BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

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netiquette

20 years ago, an email signature was frowned upon, if it was more than 4 lines long! It's because so many people were still paying for access per BYTE of data! :)

I really wish those rules of thumb had stuck, but of course as bandwidth increased, emails started to incorporate HTML/CSS... and of course, all email servers now send the email in two parts, so that there is still a plain text version.

+1

I'm still stubbornly using 4 line sig. You can fit sufficient contact information in 4 lines (of no more than 80 characters each of course)

If he wants to ban something, please ban the stupid reply on top that Outlook taught people to use which makes following a thread painful. And for anyone complaining "but it is too long and I need to scroll so far down to see the message" ...there is your clue to trim some off... the whole thread doesn't need to be repeated in every message.

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BlackBerry: Internet of Things! Smartwatches! Anything but the sound of a flushing toilet

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Re: oh dear, oh dear...

Can we have a bit of unbiased reporting for a change - please.

Pretty Please?

Erm, this is El Reg not the usual dull news site (even though fair few articles have been pretty much regurgitated press releases in last couple of years).

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The Wi-Fi Alliance wants to get you off Wi-Fi

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To implement the technology, software developers will need to update their applications to utilize the new system. Once activated, the Wi-Fi Aware platform will allow devices to send and receive small packets of data with user information and location.

All kit can already do adhoc as well as infrastructure mode. I guess the only "new" thing here is these lovely little packets of information who and where, being sent in adhoc fashion (even if the wlan is configured to be infrastructure mode) by some random apps.

Thanks but no thanks.

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Samsung forks 4K with Tizen tellies

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Sod the UI, gief ports

Arguably they don't want to sell UHD tellies at all, because if they did they wouldn't be taking a punt on Tizen. There's no theoretical reason that Tizen couldn't deliver, but based on the precedent of the depressing standard of TV UIs and firmware, the dreadful ad-loaded programme guides and privacy concerns, the lack of software support the moment it leaves the factory, the weak functionality, tumbleweed strewn proprietary app stores, painfully slow processors, inadequate input options........

Ah, my pet peeve.

I don't want "smart" TV... I'd rather they used the money for more ports. Most BR players duplicate the "smart" UI (and I suspect fair few tellies will have one plugged in. Ofc there are other options like Pi, Roku, etc not to mention than in UK for example most are likely to be tethered to a Sky or VM box.

I couldn't care less about the UI, but I would like row of (lots) A/V inputs prefreably with discrete selection. Also more than one HDMI should support ARC.

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Seagate makes CES splash with $99 drive, 'personal' cloud offerings

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Rebranding

Seagate CEO and chairman Steve Luczo had a ready-prepared quote about this: "The new Seagate brand is a powerful representation of the total commitment that Seagate is making to help businesses and consumers realise the full potential of ‘living’ data."

"We are refreshing the look and feel of our company and we are redefining the relationships we have with our consumers, businesses and partners," he added.

The new logo looks crap. I guess there is some vague logic to it as the original Seagate logo looked like bit like two tape spools with some untensioned tape between so you could (kind of) argue they've gone from tape to disk to stream. :)

Maybe its just me but that broken hob logo looks much better.

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OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away

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Re: AC Ree: Sounds like an opportunity for Linux for phones

I still have a Psion Series 5MX in mint condition. What I wouldn't give to have it upgraded with today's tech in the same form factor.

Quite.

Likewise I'd still like to see same for the old Nokia Communicator. Yes it can still stay bit bulky to ensure long battery life. Decent high res screen on the inside, eink display on the outside.

Guess there'd be no chance of it being Series 80 with OPL these days (if they ever did release a new version that is) :-)

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Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

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Re: Unixware

Depends on your idea of real I guess... I count the *BSDs as being more real UNIX than the various commercial hacks of SVR4 - but that is because I cut my teeth on SunOS and was then savaged by rabid Solaris boxes. Those boxes running early cuts of Solaris were so unreliable, and so badly set up that I concluded that they weren't running a UNIX.

Hear hear. I stuck to 4.1.3 for as long as it was possible. Early Solaris 2 (or SunOS 5.x as they called it. Heretics!) was incredibly buggy. First vaguely usable version was 2.5 (by which time it was also becoming difficult to be refusenik since Sun was starting to drop support for SunOS 4 for the newer hardware).

Those scars linger on - as a result I still avoid SVR4 when given an option. :)

Those scars never heal...

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Amazon comes over all eBay with new ‘make an offer’ facility

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So you double your prices and then keep your customers happy by letting them negotiate a huge reduction of 40% .

Most likely. Just like many of the Black Friday offers this year which seem to go along the lines "Look here! 50% off!" ...when really the offer was 10% or less off usual selling price. Calculating percentage from RRP and ignoring the usual selling price makes it look better deal than it is.

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

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I was using VM all Saturday, for both VPN into work and straight to the web for other stuff.

No problems at all with service. I reckon rival ADSL providers spread this story and what really happened is that somebody in London (a VM customer) had a cheap TPLink router in their house, and had to reboot it because it got its knickers in a twist. Told their neighbour who works for rival and they turned it out as a nationwide outage.

Good for you.

The cable modems dropped out. Would sync again and drop out again. VM said it would be fixed in 4 hours. ~10 hours later they sent SMS that it is fixed.

Well it wasn't. Eventually it worked for a while before borking out on monday again.

So you reckon wrong.

And no, I'm not in London. And I have no TPLink stuff in the house (not that it would've mattered in this case).

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Is there ever any compensation from companies like Virgin Media?

Yes. But you need to complain about not getting service you're paying for and the drones will apply credit to your next billl.

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Re: Unaffected in Gloucester...

but we don't use Virgin's DNS servers, don't know if that's relevant or not...

Considering cablemodems (standalone and Tivo's built-in) failed to sync I'd say it is not relevant.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

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Re: Metal/Glass phones

Get a Samsung S-View cover. Replaces the back with a leather-type cover that opens like a book (turning the screen on as it does), looks smart, and protects the phone. I don't particularly care for the plastic backs on Samsung phones, but I've not used one since I got mine. Brilliant idea!

Indeed. An unfortunate fall killed screen on my S2. When I replaced it with S4 I thought might as well offer it bit of extra protection. Almost got the S-View cover, but stumbled across SlimArmor View at fairly equivalent price and it is brilliant. Yes bit bulkier but offers superb protection.

Some of the bulkier (ie. dirt cheap) USB cables don't quite fit with the phone in the case.

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'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster

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Re: lights...

I want to walk into the computer room and see flashing lights...

Well, quite. I am particularly partial to Thinking Machines' Connection Machine. IIRC we have Tamiko Thiel and Carl Feynman to thank for the CM-1 design. Later models were no less stunning.

Having said that, Cray-2's fluorinert waterfall is rather tasty too.

Nowadays it looks like an art installation (not that that's a bad thing, but it is a computer room...!)

And a bad one at that. Looks like something fresh out out of some arts or design school (were something decent is a rare occasion).

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Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft

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>And in few years it might get to where Solaris has been for years

You mean a hobby?

"only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications, and not for any other purpose."

That's a pretty cheap shot using T&C from a free download for development purposes.

There are some people on this forum who seem to take to Solaris bashing whenever an opportunity arises. Fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

There is a lot of Solaris in use in corporate world. It is very solid and reliable environment.

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Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat

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Re: Debian Security Announcement

Is it absolutely impossible for these guys to just send out an announcement in plain English?

A memory leak flaw was found in the way an OpenSSL handled failed

session ticket integrity checks. A remote attacker could exhaust all

available memory of an SSL/TLS or DTLS server by sending a large number

of invalid session tickets to that server.

What? Where, what typical applications/scenarios might be affected? Real world examples? No wonder the Open Source world has such a bad rep amongst non geeks. Pure gobbledygook brought on by severe laziness and extreme arrogance.

That's pretty plain english for an announcement on crypto library.They clearly state the issue is in session handling and that can be used to exhaust memory. Don't really see how it could be any clearer.

There are so many applications using OpenSSL that listing them would not be practical. I doubt OpenSSL team even know all the applications that may use the libraries.

The announcement is obviously intended to somewhat technical audience. It would be up to your sysadmin (in corporate environment) to disseminate information as to what, within your organisation, is affected and how.

Would you think of the same of a technical bulletin issued by car manufacturer, when it is really intended for mechanics rather than end users?

I'm sorry but it appears the laziness and arrogance is on your part for assuming the technical announcement from developers would be watered down to be suitable for you.

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Virgin Media DOUBLE-PUNCHED by BSkyB AND BT over ad fibs

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(not so) fibre optic broadband

I'd still like someone to slap virgin media over their claims of a fibre optic broadband service... Just the same as BT's FTTC offering, the last mile is copper...

Quite. Especially since they claim to be X times faster than BT, which suggests they're refering to cable modem service which over a coax to the house so it is not fibre all the way.

Mind you nothing wrong with the bit of coax, beats BT's rotten twisted pair anyway. ...

Hey VM now that you do DOCSIS 3, can I have 24x8 channels please?

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Finnish PM: Apple has DESTROYED FINLAND

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Re: The Finnish language is difficult, especially if you are trying to make yourself sound sexy

To say I love you in Finnish is like shooting a AK47, Minä raka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-stan sinua.

Surely that should be RK62...

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

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Re: Nice, but why...

This looks great... a worthy replacement for my 7" Ainol Fire (snigger)

Does Ainol still have the amusing slogan "Enjoy life. Enjoy Ainol" ?

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Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars

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Re: Jaguars are astonishingly awful in the snow

aguars are astonishingly awful in the snow

Jaguars are essentially undrivable when it snows; even worse than BMWs.

Buy this and you could be garaging it for a month per year, so put aside some budget for something that works in winter. Say a mini.

Bollocks. You just need to know how to drive. And have M+S tyres of course. Summer tyres won't work very well in the snow.

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Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

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license validation

The Software may cause Customer’s Computer, without notice, to automatically connect to the Internet and to communicate with an Adobe website or Adobe domain for purposes such as license validation and providing Customer with additional information, features, or functionality."

Most users would probably take this to mean license validation with regards to the reader software rather than feeding back what/how/when/where something is being read.

Obviously the ambiguity is intentional to avoid declaring what kind of snooping license validation it does for the actual content being read.

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Inflatables in SPAAACE! ISS 'nauts to enjoy bouncy castle spaceship

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Joke

Re: Starbucks, google, amazon...

I wonder if they have plans beyond Earth?

Guess we'll find out when it lifts off

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So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

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I still regularly use Lotus WordPro and much prefer it to Word (though familiarity is no doubt a factor).

Seconded. Samna's Ami Pro was pure bliss. I could actually get stuff done with that without any hassle unlike Word. The way you used styles was so fluent.

I never did try it after Lotus bought it.

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Re: Mistakes?

Lotus should have avoided OS/2 like the plague that it was. Sadly, even now 1-2-3 remains a better product than Excel, which is (like all Microsoft products)

There is a lot of hatred towards OS/2. Sure it had its faults, but it wasn't all bad. It ran Windows programs better than native Windows. OS/2 Warp ran Borland Delphi better than native Windows (at least on the DECpc 433 I ran it on) . It actually didn't crash much, and if it did it didn't take whole OS with it like on native Windows.

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

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Re: Abolish it

So we have the strange situation where an untaxed or uninsured vehicle must be stored off the road, but at the moment, a taxed and insured vehicle without MOT can be parked on the road, but must not be driven.

I'm sure they will fix this deficiency at some point.

Well, that will only work until tax expires as you need valid MOT to be able to tax the vehicle.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

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Re: This was fixed before you even reported it

Never heard of Mandrake? Mandriva? also then.

Sir needs to get out of his Ubuntu bedroom a tad more

Ah yes. The distro that can't decide what it wants to be called.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

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They're onto something

I think they maybe onto something. Oddly enough I am quite intrigued by it. Probably rather odd sensation holding something like that to your ear, however for uses other than phone the display format is quite appealing.

I'm looking forward to how this one turns out.

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Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI

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Room thermostats should work on WBGT

Even with a progstat there's still the need to mess with it occasionally, mind you, since the human perceived temperature is not the same as the measured dry bulb temperature that a stat measures.

Quite. Thermostats should really include a humidity sensor and they could operate on WBGT instead.

The formula is simple enough for any embedded system to handle.

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Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought

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Re: Time to move on

Sony still makes good products, but they are just too slow to innovate. They showed with the PS4 that they can get things right, and the camera division has shown signs of out innovating Canon and Nikon.

Helped substantially by the acquisition of Konica-Minolta.

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No TKO for LTO: Tape format spawns another 2 generations, sports 120TB bigness

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Re: Lowest-cost archive medium

Please, NO!

DO NOT mention DAT and backups together!

The only media worse than DAT is VHS tapes. Even 8mm tapes were better!

Hear hear! I've had lots of different DAT drives and they've all been unreliable. Pretty useless really.

Whereas Exabyte (8mm), DLT/LTO have performed very reliably. Even QIC (I'm talking about DC600 and DC6150 cartridges here...) was fairly realiable. I did briefly try Tandberg's SLR and it seemed OK too, but didn't use it long enough to make proper judgement.

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

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Re: O2 Refresh

Correct. However you would expect each upfront+monthly fees to add up to same (or at least similar) amount. This is not the case and the total to pay can vary greatly.

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Re: O2 Refresh

With the O2 refresh you get few options on how much to pay upfront/per month. Since we're talking about credit agreement you would expect cheapest overall price to be with the largest upfront payment (and thus smallest credit). Oddly enough that is not the case. Difference can be quite staggering actually.

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Behold our SPINNING DATA GRAVE: WD carts out 6.3TB cold storage drive

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Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?

I'm starting to wonder if we will see warranties which depend on time drive has been running rather than clock time. Warranty for 500,000 hrs run time would be far more trusted than it can sit in a box for 3 years and be fine!.

That reminds me of old Convergent MegaFrame that needed a swift kick on the case (or gentle whack with rubber mallet to side of the disk if your were in better mood) for the disk to start spinning. Some issue with lubcrication on the drives if they were powered off long enough to cool down completely. Think the drives were Micropolis or Maxtor but been a quite a while so I may recall the make completely wrong.

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

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Re: Future Boy

But then a year ago I changed suppliers to someone cheaper and lo and behold, I no longer have a smart meter. It is still there, but apparently my new provider is unable to access it as it is Eon's meter. I have changed supplier again since and same story.

This is one of the more baffling aspects of the whole "smart" meters. Not very smart are they.

As I pointed out before in this thread, it would make much more sense (if monitoring is all they're after as they claim) to add a sender that reads consumption by induction pickup, reading the wheel or blinking LED depending in the existing meter, and sen that over via GSM. In that case changing supplier should only require change of SIM or worst case change of the monitoring unit rather than replace whole meter.

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

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Re: What essentially saved TCP/IP?

You really haven't suffered until you've set up a load of diskless workstations booting off the network from a VMS server. Not only did the protocol stack have to be shoehorned into memory, the entire thing had to fit on a 1MB disk image.

Ah. My sincere apologies for resurrecting the memories that had been confined to the dark, nearly unreachable corner. I'll crawl under my rock and ...umm...dunno.. go boot a DECserver with MOP or something.

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