* Posts by Cody

78 posts • joined 16 Aug 2007

Page:

Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

Cody

pricing?

What's the pricing?

3
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Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Cody

The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

The simplest solution if you want to retain the license fee is to stop making revenue from it a BBC monopoly, and make it available to non-profit trust structured broadcasters.

The argument against license fee is that its a breach of human rights - people should be able to watch the most common source of information and entertainment without being obliged to pay for one particular broadcaster they may not be interested in. Or where they would rather watch ITV and eat better. Or get shoes for their kids.

If you stick with a license fee this would continue to be the great injustice of it. You would still be taxing access to information and entertainment, and it would still be regressive. But at least if you share the revenue, you could give people some voice in how its spent, so that would be one small step better and fairer than the present situation.

People always get furious about these kinds of proposals because as they end up saying in roundabout ways, they like the BBC and think its a bargain at 12.00 a month.

So do I. What is wrong is that it only costs that little because those who don't want it are also paying for it.

5
19

Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation

Cody

use an iflash

Surely you buy the cheapest and then get a 64G i-flash for storage? Since these are fairly cheap now, buy two or three and put all the media you want on them. Wouldn't that be very effective alternative to the Cowon series? Maybe this is why Apple doesn't have a card slot - no real need for one any more.

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Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Cody

want a large screen android e-reader

There must be a lot of people who want this too - 10 inch would be fine, bigger OK, and it should run android and not like the Sony large one be restricted to pdf. And a reasonable price too of course. Under £200.

1
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Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

Cody

use the sd card for the os...

How easy is it to replace the SSD with something of a sensible size? If you replaced chrome with linux it would be a great machine if it had a sensible sized drive.

0
1

Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

Cody

Still not understanding the target market

Still not understanding the target market. Seems to require an iPhone - but when you have one of these, why exactly do you need this on your wrist?

The effort in smart watches seems to be to make them into one inch tablets. People are not making them into phones for the obvious reason you would have to take it off to hold it to your ear and use it comfortably. But the more successful they are at making them into usable tablets, the more the limitations of the way you are supposed to carry them, and their consequent tiny screen size, become apparent.

I really don't get it. My own light powered watch cost around £50 a few years ago. It does one thing and it does it perfectly, it tells the time, and it seems like it will go on doing that forever with no maintenance of any kind. Its small enough and comfortable enough that you can forget you are wearing it.

I can see fitness bands. They are a distinct wearable niche, they don't try to fit the time-watch segment, they too do one main thing and do it very well. But when you think about this use, go out for a run or a ride and you take your phone, surely? Guarantee you do if you are a woman, and most likely nowadays if a man - its a security issue. And you notice there are little holders you strap to your upper arm to carry phones in when doing this. Your upper arm, not your wrist! Or on your belt, not your wrist!

I can even see a niche for small tablets - smaller than the current minimum which seems to be four or five inches. The thing I am not seeing is why anyone would want to strap one of those to a WRIST! Carry it almost anywhere else and it would be better.

Well, we will see. Before the announcement it was merely puzzling. After it, it looks increasingly like large inventory write-offs coming later this year.

1
1

An e-reader you HAVEN'T heard of: Cybook Ocean 8"

Cody

Inkpad

The comparison would be with the PocketBook Inkpad 8 inch, which seems to do far far better in direct comparison reviews. Higher res and faster. But about £150 and only available from Europe at the moment (Conrad UK used to have it but seems to be out).

There are two 10 inch readers which seem to have their different merits, the M96, a pure Android reader, but lacking a high res screen, or the Hanvon WISEreader E920, which has high res screen but does not seem to be plain android. These are around £400 on Amazon.

There is also the sony, but while its huge and has a high res display it is pdf only and very very expensive.

What we need is a high res 10 inch screen, plain android, with a fast processor. Or maybe, with the new Intel stick computer, we would be OK with an e-ink monitor and run it off one of those?

The problem with current ebook readers is not so much epub or mobi - the Kobo Aura HD seems to do fine with them. Its PDFs. Lots of stuff is only available in that form, and the Kobo 7 inch screen though very nice is just too small, and it simply will not display scanned PDFs properly at all. Well, if you are trying to carry around quite a few technical articles and manuals, this reduces you a conventional tablet. Which is fine, but its tiring to read and has short battery life, and its another thing to load down the travel bag.

Maybe it is too small a market. Would have thought not. Large numbers of technical, legal and financial people need this.

3
1

ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak

Cody

noble and peculiar!

"Mont Blanc Outlet helps you enjoy the most exquisite design, elegance, nobleness and peculiarity on Mont Blanc."

I've no desire for a real Mont Blanc, still less a fake one, but out of curiousity went to one of the sites mentioned. The above is a quote, yes, you too can enjoy nobleness and peculiarity. Oh dear.

2
0

Third patch brings more admin Shellshock for the battered and Bashed

Cody

Re: replace with ksh? or zsh?

Also, looking at zsh, that's a monster, just configuring it is a major challenge. Desktop Debian with the latest bash updates seems OK tested against the exploits so far.

1
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Cody

replace with ksh? or zsh?

Is that possible or advisable? Just uninstall bash and install one of these?

0
0

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Cody

Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

The problem is, its useless as a watch, but it is basically a watch.

I am currently wearing a watch that never needs a battery and keeps perfect time. I don't want a WATCH that has to be charged every night. A phone, or a tablet, or a combination of the two, yes.

The reply is, its not a watch. And then you hear people explain that it does so much more and so many different things, none of which my perpetual and accurate watch can do. This is true. All my watch can do is tell the time, perfectly and trouble free for decades on end. And rather cheap by the way - about one tenth of what the iWatch costs - and quite good looking.

As the argument continues you see that the iWatch really isn't a watch at all, its a form of wearable miniature tablet. At this point you have to start comparing it with the nexus 7 and ask why do I want to pay three times as much for something that is far less functional? Just so I can wear it on my wrist? Or three times as much as the nexus 5 if I really find the tablet too large...

People will buy this, because many in the West will at the moment buy anything Apple puts out. But the problem will come in a month or two when they find they are simply not using it, don't want to put it on, and it will start appearing on Ebay, and not too long after that in charity shops.

And in the next financial report we will see an item: inventory write downs.

12
0

5.5in iPhone 6, iWatch hypegasm: What will Apple reveal - BE the rumour

Cody

Inventory writedowns

Future inventory writedowns is what they will reveal. On a grand scale.

2
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Larger iPad could target big biz, save Apple from low-end scrum

Cody

When the market moves, you have to move with it

Most Apple fans will repeat the same mantra: do not compete on price, stay in the high price, high margin segments. The problem is that the market is evolving so that that niche is shrinking. Apple's problem has been years in the making, but it is becoming clearer and clearer, and it the exact same problem they faced with computers in the last century. Its the same problem the British motorcycle industry had when Honda and Suzuki showed up with their ridiculous little 50cc mopeds.

Of course you cannot compete on price at that sort of level. What you can do is carry on making Bonnevilles, give up the low end segment which is just commodities, and you will be fine. Pretty soon they are offering not 50cc mopeds but 250cc fast two strokes, and then 500cc twins that are reliable and last for ever.

Not too long after that you are a specialist niche selling a few hundred a year to nostalgic enthusiasts and asking for government handouts.

This is what all the Apple mavens who decry the race to the bottom and commoditisation and want Apple to stay out of that do not see. We are seeing the PC market and the triumph of Windows all over again, in phones and tablets. The market is moving to one in which their culture will not allow them to compete. So they will either come up with a new market segment, which is going to be very tough, or they will shrink, possibly dramatically, to the accompaniment of inventory write downs never previously seen in history.

1
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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Cody

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch it

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to watch it, and we should feel sympathy for those who are compelled by the requirements of their profession to study this stuff. It must take a terrible toll and one hopes they are rotated responsibly. I know there is a free speech and free information argument, but not about this stuff. I am very freedom of speech oriented but have no problem with it being made illegal to watch this kind of thing.

1
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So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL

Cody

Re: Oh no

You're missing the point. It is that the low and the high end are not fixed. What is happening to Apple is that its high end premium features are moving down into cheap stuff, so there is basically no difference but the brand. What they should do is license the OS at the right time, as they should have done before. But they will not, and the result will first be falling share, and then falling volumes.

1
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Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum

Cody

Not the whole story about DH

Its not the whole story. DH was a brilliant engineering company in many ways and had many great successes. But its arrogance led to some catastrophic design decisions. It was a DH aircraft that broke up over an air show. The Sea Vixen broke up in the air over Farnborough killing more than 50 people and needed extensive redesign. The Comet disaster, where sloppy design led to a series of in air breakups of passenger aircraft, had a large part in the collapse of the British aircraft industry. Yes, the Mosquito was brilliant. But the problem with DH in the later years as design became more critical and there was less room for error was that they could not be trusted. They got critical details catastrophically wrong.

There is a book by the daughter of a pilot killed flying one of the carrier versions of the Venom or Vixen. Another design flaw - they were very very dangerous to land on deck. No, they deserved to go out of business. And of course the ultimate personal tragedy of this kind of thing was the death of the son, flying some prototype that had not been properly thought through.

Don't glamorize them.

1
3

Seven all-in-ones that aren't the Apple iMac - and one that is

Cody

Don't really see the need

Really do not see the need for this stuff any more. What you do is get a Silverstone or similar ITX case, stick the new generation i5 Desktop in it, fill it out with the most memory it will take, and add a monitor. What's the problem? It will be pretty much silent, easy to upgrade, take minimal desk or floor space. Enough slots for a couple of drives, SSD if you really want. And a lot cheaper than any of these things. Plus, you get to replace components one at a time if they go. With these things all you can do is throw it all out and start over.

If you want to get even smaller than ITX there is probably nothing to beat the Mac Mini, though you do have to put a decent operating system on it, but that is not hard. Then you have a pretty decent coat pocket or briefcase machine, and if you want to move between locations you just put identical monitors and keybaord in each one and away you go.

The all in ones are doing exactly the wrong thing - moving the works into the monitor. To save space what you need to do is downsize the works, not put them into the monitor.

A thoroughly bad idea.

3
1

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC

Cody

Get an Apple Mini and....

Get an Apple Mini, get rid of that silly OS and put in something sensible, and you have a much better buy. Better processor, no cooling problems, plenty of storage. This is too much of a niche and the tradeoffs are not sensible. But, they are not stupid, they must have some reason for it. Don't really get it.

0
5

The new Mac mini eviscerated with ease

Cody

Re: Have to say it...

You need to jump through some hoops to put Linux or BSD on it. Have to get Bootcamp off. But it can be done.

0
0
Cody

Re: Have to say it...

"After 10 minutes of searching, I can't find anything comparable with such a small and attractive form factor."

Yes, agreed. You can put something very nice together using a silverstone small itx case, maybe gigabyte board, but its going to be huge by comparison with a large fan in front. And its not going to be a lot cheaper by the time you get it loaded up with memory and hard drive. The only problem with the mini is OSX, but given a bit of trouble you can jailbreak it. If they would just sell the thing with a barebones discount it would be very attractive. Its really nice that you can still open it up. They are probably right to take out the optical drive from it, having a dedicated one makes less and less sense nowadays when you can have one portable usb powered one for when you really need it.

Buy one now, before Apple realises what good value it is!

2
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Cody

Mini and ASRock

In fact the interesting thing about the Mini is what good value it is. If you check out ASRock offerings on Amazon - which one poster suggests as an alternative - you find they are more expensive for similar features. If you try assembling one yourself, you will save minimal amounts if any, and you will have trouble getting an i5 into that small a space with adequate cooling.

Few may actually want an i5 based machine which they can carry around in a coat pocket. If you do want an i5, this is not the cheapest way to get one, so there is a real premium to be paid for the form factor. But it really does very strangely seem that if this is what you want, Apple is the cheapest place to get it.

Interesting. Of course, they make you jump through hoops to get the idiotic software it comes with off it, and get something sensible like Fedora on to it. But there you go, from a point of view of value for hardware, its surprisingly good.

0
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How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

Cody

the amazing thing is...

The amazing thing, reading these stories, is that I never ever come on the 'dark side of the internet' when reading and browsing and following up my ordinary interests. The Internet looks a lot like TV from here, occasionally sexual content of a perfectly ordinary sort, well, you would not expect it to be a totally sex-free zone, any more than the average thriller or murder mystery or newspaper is, but basically innocuous. Am I living in a fools paradise?

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Brussels: Water cannot be sold as remedy for dehydration

Cody

In fact 2 litres is bad for you.

The most common cause of death in marathons is not people getting dehydrated. They do not in fact get dehydrated because the body largely stops excreting water under stress.

The most common cause of death is people drinking too much water without the proper balance of salts. Now that is really dangerous.

The idea that we should all make ourselves drink two litres of water in addition to whatever else we drink is absolutely insane. What we should do is sleep when tired, eat when hungry and drink when thirsty.

Look up Hyponatremia. Very nasty, hysteria about how much we should all drink can actually kill you.

3
1

The Sandy Bridge Hackintosh

Cody

Convinced this is perfectly legal

I'm not legally qualified, but am convinced this is perfectly lawful. You have bought a piece of software. Whatever anyone says, the transaction is a sale just as much as the purchase of a book or chisel or CD is a sale. The seller wants to restrict what you do with it after you have bought it. I don't believe any UK court is going to uphold this.

In the first place its going to fall foul of consumer protection legislation which restricts what conditions you can impose in cases where the balance of power between consumer and supplier is heavily in favour of the company - which in this case it is.

Second, you have not consented to the restrictions, nor had them made clear to you, before purchase of the product.

Third, post-sale restrictions on use which do not originate from public interest concerns are not generally enforceable. If its a matter of forbidding any but the supplier to refill a certain kind of fuel tank, and there is a genuine health and safety issue, it will probably be enforceable. If its just XYZ saying you shall not play this CD on players made by ABC, no way.

Basically, they have sold you a copy. What you do with it is up to you. They have not sold you 'the software' any more than a bookseller has sold you 'the book'. What they have sold you is one copy. If you want to read this copy in the bath, that's up to you.

12
5

FTC and DoJ toss-up on Apple subs plan 'probe'

Cody

This is just Apple haters persecuting a great company

Yes, this is just Apple haters and denialists persecuting a great company, the greatest company in the world, fully within its rights, I mean, you use their equipment, well play by their rules, no-one is forcing you to use it. I use nothing but Apple kit because it makes me so much more productive and it is so well designed and easy to use. These Apple haters should just give it a rest and go buy Dells, you remember what that fool Dell said about giving back the money to the shareholders, those Dell fools with their cheap beige boxes, what do they know?

Apple is the greatest company the world has ever seen and it just makes me so proud to be associated with them in any way, and Steve is the greatest leader the world has ever seen, and I just love my iPad and my iPhone and my iStore, I go to sleep at night with a warm glow thinking about them all, the only thing that bothers me, and its only a little, is these losers who probably shop at Argos and Lidl and that other catalogue store whose name I have fortunately forgotten, and probably live in places like Tyneside, does anyone really live there, drinking Newcastle Brown.

So more power to Apple, and if it wants to charge people % for being allowed to put their stuff on Apple machines that is fine with me, in fact I will be out there demonstrating with placards unless these horrible Argos people leave this great company alone. I think we should make it a law that all schools have to use nothing but this great equipment, the students would be so much more productive.....

0
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Royal Society opens inquiry into why kids hate tech

Cody

the teachers have no clue

Listen, if you were seriously interested in English or European Literature, and you took a class in it, and you discovered that your teacher thought English Literature was about Harold Robbins, or Ken Follet, and had never heard of, let alone read, Keats or Dr Johnson, what would you do? You would stop taking courses in English Literature. You would decide that while these books that fascinated you might be very interesting, they had nothing to do with what was being taught under that name in school.

That is what is happening. You have a generation of kids who are genuinely interested in technical matters, being taught by people who are functionally illiterate, according to a syllabus drawn up by illiterates. Its not surprising that they drop out, you would too.

It is like being taught French by someone who cannot speak, write or read it, so they make up some garbage which has nothing to do with French, and call it a French course.

This will not change. And the consequence will be that the coming generation of programmers will be self taught drop outs. And the teachers and education department officials, in blissful ignorance of the fact that there is such a thing as programming, will continue to compose syllabuses which consist of learning to use Google and write stuff in Powerpoint.

And think they are literate, and teaching IT skills!

1
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Turkish groom accidentally sprays wedding guests with bullets

Cody

Health and Safety in the EU

This is one of many cultural and religious practices that the EU Health and Safety organizations, not to mention the Human Rights organizations, might have a little trouble with. Do we all get to shoot automatic weapons into the air at our small celebrations? Or do none of us? Do we all get to carry weapons? Or none of us? And what about the question of honour? Do we all get to kill our female relatives if they engage in unseemly and immodest behaviour? Or do none of us? Shall we see stoning for adultery in English town squares on a Saturday afternoon? Or is the practice going to be banned throughout Turkey?

The curious are looking forward eagerly to Turkey's entrance into the EU, because we really want to see how its going to go.

2
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The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Cody

Bad, ill informed advice

This is very bad advice.

First, the problem with Ubuntu is stability. It is remixed every six months from Debian Experimental, so the laments and howls every six months when a new version comes out are due to the fact that you cannot get from Experimental to Stable in six months. Ubuntu cannot, neither can Debian.

If you want an apt based system, get Debian. Do not go to Testing versions unless whatever name it is has been in Testing for at least a year. Otherwise, take the Stable version.

Second, what are the other alternatives? It is not true that Damn Small Linux is a sensible alternative - its been out of active maintenance for years now, and it never was viable for end users. Puppy is a decent recommendation.

Gentoo looks no different from anything else, and does not belong here, neither does Arch. Neither one is suitable for the audience this article is directed at.

Mandriva is not at all bad, very worth considering, end users get along with it just fine, the main asset is the control center, which they really like a lot. The control center is shared with PCLinuxOS, and that is certainly worth considering. If you give someone Mandriva, the one to get is Mandriva One, Gnome Edition.

Suse is fine.

Debian is an interesting one. I would say the difference between Debian and Mandriva or Suse is who is going to set it up. If you are going to set it up, do the install and customize the desktop, give them Debian. If they are going to do it, either Mandriva or Suse. Or, if its an old machine, Puppy is a possible.

The sleepers that should be mentioned but have been omitted, and should be there in place of Arch or Gentoo or Sabayon, are the various Slackware based distros. Vector is very nice, very fast. ZenWalk is also excellent. Slackware is a bit bare metal, not recommended for non-computer people, but the derivatives are just fine.

So, bottom line: If you will install it, Debian. If they will, Mandriva One or Suse or PCLinuxOS. If its an old slow machine, Puppy, Vector or Zenwalk. If they want a live CD to try out, Slax rather than Knoppix.

6
1

Apple to sell unlocked iPhone 4

Cody

Its not really 'unlocked'

It only means that Apple is gracious enough to allow you to pick your own network. That is a remarkably generous and humbling concession, one to astonish and delight all Apple fans. What great guys they are in Cupertino!

But you still cannot pick your own apps. Its either the app store or buy a different phone.

But then, you never wanted any apps that were not in the app store, did you? That is what freedom of choice means, surely, it must mean freedom to buy from the store Apple has set up for you, any of the apps they want to make available to you.

Good.

1
5

Mozilla sidesteps iPhone code ban with Firefox Home

Cody

Now ask yourself....

Now ask yourself, why exactly is it that Apple does not want people who have bought iPhones or iPads to use Firefox? What exactly would be so awful about that?

Apple should merge with Microsoft. It would make a lot of sense. It would be a bit like the Hitler - Stalin pact, which also made a lot of sense, two mad totalitarians getting together. Go for it guys!

5
0

Two years later, Apple Safari still open to 'carpet-bombing'

Cody

can't have this

You can't have this. Caching is one thing, and it can be the basis of prosecutions, but at least the accused will almost certainly have visited the cached site.

This is simple push of any material at all to a hard drive's normal folders.

You cannot allow this on your machine, its insane to allow it.

0
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Oracle punts first VirtualBox x64 hypervisor

Cody

you can do headless

You can do headless. Its in the user guide. Command line only.

1
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Nokia 7230

Cody

Well my dear young chap....

Well my dear young chap, this was very funny and in a lot of ways very helpful. But what we use here on Planet OAP is a couple of PAYG nokias, which we bought for a tenner each or so. The buttons are a bit small, the ringing is not excessive but loud enough. You have to consider what we use it for. We almost never make calls on it, we never send texts on it. No-one except each other ever calls us on them.

So why do we want them at all? Because we go off on walks or biking in isolated areas, and we need to be able to call for help. Or we are wandering, separately, around a city centre, and we'd like to be able to call up and say where are you.

See, its not a necessity, its a small convenience. As long as its cheap, and usable, its fine. The thing you are finding hard to grasp is that mobiles are such a tiny part of our lives. They are not something we are going to spend lots of money on. A tenner is about right.

And we are professional, technical, people. We'd have no problem using iPhones, we just can't be bothered with them. We don't want facebook, because we value privacy. We actually do not want people calling us on our mobiles. The only people we want calling us is each other. We never give out the numbers, except to people who might need emergency access to us.

its a different world. I think this is what you are having trouble grasping. But thanks, it was an interesting survey, and who knows, our parents, even older than us, may find one of them interesting. I am interested in the alarm feature. That might be worth having for one of us.

So I am not knocking the review. It was a nice and in parts funny read. Just urging you to make more of an effort of imagination. After all, you will be here too. Sooner than you think....

2
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'Gossips' say Apple will acquire ARM

Cody
WTF?

I speak for all fellow apple enthusiasts!

I speak for all Apple enthusiasts, when I say, this is just great news. We will finally have our own processor again, and we can stop anyone else from getting it. That will be great. Then all the phones in the world will be iPhones.

But what is even greater, we will then be able to force everyone to develop for all the phones in the world using objective-c. I cannot tell you how insanely great that will be. We will set entrance examinations for developers to qualify. You don't pass, you don't develop. There will be healthy license fees to participate.

We will totally ban porn, or what strikes us as porn, or indeed anything offensive, from all the phones in the world! Wow!

Meanwhile, we will have our own office suite. This has always been a problem, MS makes the office suite we use now. We want our own! That is what iWork is going to be. We will then stop MS Office running on our machines, to general rejoicing.

Finally, it will be the turn of those counter revolutionary deviationists at Adobe. We will have our own photo editing suite also, and we will exile those clowns, just as we exiled their awful flash stuff.

Oh, we can't wait. its going to be insanely great! We are going to be free at last!

3
3

Mammoth patent troll holder snags smartphone threat

Cody

Lets hope they win!

Well, whatever happens, this seems like bad news for Apple, which is great. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so any enemy of that most deplorable of companies is to be welcomed.

Regards, Cody

4
17

Segway + motorbike = futuristic dorkmobile

Cody

Obviously what is needed is a trike

Obvious from these photos, as from the Segway, what you need is a third wheel, and a trike. All the energy being spent on balancing could then go to locomotion. Improve load capacity as well.

0
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Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Cody

how is creating competition evil?

Jobs temperatmentally is a control freak. The way the industry has evolved is like a sort of business petri dish with lots of uncoordinated activities merging, combining, competing, and all kinds of products and companies coming out of the process. This is something Jobs cannot stand.

The ideal for him, and with the iPhone and the iPod he gets as close as he dares, is to have you only able to do or load onto your Apple device what Apple allows you to. All developers and all writers or musicians or publishers will do as they or told or get cut off. Users will buy what they are given.

You want a Touch with usb mode? Tough. You want to copy your tracks over using a file manager? Tough. You want an app that is not in the App store? Tough. You want a mid range Core2 tower for your OS that has a couple hard drive slots? You my friend are SOL. Go down to Walmart you redneck, while you still can, and buy your cheap beige box to go with those TV dinners.

Its a weird mixture of snobbery and control and contempt for the buyers. Ugly stuff. Very ugly indeed.

10
0

NASA pegs Noughties as hottest decade on record

Cody

Yes, it is warming!

It is warming. It is the warmest year in the warmest decade of the warmest century. You may be looking at snow and at thermometers. This is a mark of being in denial. You do not understand that temperatures cannot simply be measured, a great many different stations have to be assessed.

We cannot tell you which stations. We have signed confidentiality agreements which forbid it. No, we cannot give you copies of these agreements, we have lost them.

Then the raw data has to be adjusted. No, we cannot, alas, give you any of the raw data before our adjustments. We used to have it, and would love to make it available, but we lost it during an office move some years ago. Sad.

Anyway, moving right along, there is warming, its catastrophic, its going to get worse. Plagues, floods, famines are going to happen. But there is a way to avoid all this. All you have to do is pay! Isn't that simple? You thought it was far more complicated and difficult than that. No, you just have to pay. Who do you have to pay?

Well, a number of people. First you have to pay me, to continue my studies into just how awful this is all going to be. Then you have to pay the US Corn industry. This may surprise you, but it is necessary. We have to pay them to stop growing food and instead grow oil. Or, if they insist on growing food, they have to be paid to not sell it to anyone to eat, but instead turn it into oil.

Then, you have to pay to erect large religious monuments all over the Highlands of Scotland. These monuments will avert the wrath of God. You can think of them as our equivalent of the very effective Easter Island statues which were so successful in dealing with a previous energy crisis back on that little island. Or perhaps those cargo landing strips which the Pacific Islanders built at the end of WWII.

Now that you are emerging from denail a little, well, now you can go outside and look at your thermometer. It reads 2C. Well now you understand, that means that it is really 7C, and this is the warmest winter in the warmest year in the warmest decade...

Just keep repeating it, and you can walk right out of denial.

8
9

Apple iPad to launch January 26 (maybe)

Cody

what we will use it for?

What will we use it for? We'll use it to take out of its case and put it on the table at Starbucks while we sip our lattes. Hope it has a nice well visible logo on the lid, though. Otherwise its not going to be much use at all.

2
0

GSHP: The green tech even carbon sceptics will like

Cody

Not as great as it sounds

We looked at this, and it has some very severe disadvantages, enough to make it basically impractical. The first is the cost, we are talking 10-20k for an installation. The second is disruption - they will dig a trench 100 meters+ long in your garden. and lay the pipe in it. This means up one side and down the other. The third is much more serious. If you don't get the dimensions right, what happens is that you produce permafrost in your garden, at which point the whole thing has gone pear shaped. You can no longer cool the ground any more, which is how you get the heat out in the first place.

All in all, this is a hare brained scheme, on any scale. Two much more practical technologies are first, to insulate the house properly. This is cheap, effective. it makes an absolutely huge difference to both cost and comfort for very little outlay and little disruption. If you are comparing it to 10-20k for the ground source heat pump, just spend a quarter of that and you will get an absolutely superb insulation job even in the most difficult circumstances. Roof insulation is one thing, then there's cavity wall and cladding.

The second thing, which is less efficient in theory than the ground source heat pump, is an air source heat pump. Much, much cheaper, and you are not going to produce permafrost. Yes it may be less efficient, but its more cost effective.

There is a reason why ground source heat pumps have not taken off. They are not very sensible.

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1

Hackintosher Psystar to pay Apple $2.7m in settlement

Cody

what's at stake here

The MacFanatics can only see one issue in this: what Apple wants, Apple must get. What the wider effects of giving Apple what it wants may be, who cares?

So in the present case, what Apple wants is to be able to sell OSX at retail in a form which will install on many standard X86 main boards. However, it also wants to restrict what you do your installs on to only systems bought from Apple. It wants to do this by EULA clause in software sold at retail and unbundled from any hardware/.

These systems, on which the EULA forbids installation, may be no different technically from the same systems bought from other suppliers (with the exception of EFI which is a tiny piece of the thing). But Apple does not want you to use them, it wants to restrict what you install on based solely on how it is branded.

The thing you all have to realize is what the rest of us, who are not Apple users and never want to be, find worrying in this. And it has nothing to do with Apple or its wants, which we find to be the least important part of this question. This is our worry. We do not like the idea that software makers can tell you where to buy the hardware you run their software on.

We do not, for instance, like the idea that MS could stipulate in EULA that you may install Windows on any system you like in dual boot mode, as long as it is not labeled Apple. We do not like the idea that MS could stipulate in EULA that you may run Office under Wine on the system of your choice, as long as it is not labelled Apple. We feel very uneasy about the idea that there might come an amendment to the GPL that would ban the installation of any GPL licensed products on Macs. And so on.

The thing you all have to get your heads around, after you stop cheering that West Ham has won, is that this is not a ruling for or about Apple. It is a ruling on what powers software makers have. And it does not give these powers just to Apple. It gives them to everyone, to use against anyone they feel like using them against, and that includes Apple.

So, are you all so sure you really like them Apples, now?

3
3

Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice

Cody

more complicated than it sounds

"You'll be breaking the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA), meaning you're potentially running a pirated copy of Windows."

Well. This is a much more complicated issue than appears, and it varies by jurisdiction. Will you be breaking the law? And if so, which?

MS and Apple would like to argue that if you break the EULA, you also break copyright, because you only have permission to use within EULA constraints. Using means copying. Only into memory, but it is still copying.

There are conflicting precedents in the US on this one. Vernor undermines the whole argument, and makes it legal to buy an upgrade, install it, and then sell the previous version. Vernor also makes you the owner of your bought copy in the sense of Title 17 Section 117, which gives you the right to make or authorize adaptations essential for use with a machine.

However Blizzard has ruled that you are not the owner in the sense of Section 117, and that any violation of the EULA is therefore a copyright breach.

None of this has any bearing on the EU situation, where the legal status of EULAs is completely unclear. In the UK they may be an unlawful attempt to modify the terms of a previously concluded transaction, a purchase. In Germany they may be unlawful as not presented and assented to at the time of purchase.

In no jurisdiction, to my knowledge, is there any connection between EULA breach and copyright law breach. Others may know of some.

So, its much more complicated than it looks. And in particular, breaking EULAs is in any case not doing something iilegal. Its breach of civil contract. You can be sued, but not prosecuted.

0
0

New York Times Editor drops Apple tablet in talk

Cody

Ah, the iTablet.... or the iSlate... or whatever

"Apple has not said a tablet is coming. Various sources say one is. It is claimed it will be bigger than an iPhone but smaller than an MacBook, and will cost around $700."

Every so often, it will determine that some of the news was not fit to print, and will help you not to yield to the temptation to read it by blocking it. You will only be able to buy papers from the app store using iTunes. Every now and again one of the papers will offend SJ, and be blocked for a couple of weeks until it sees reason and apologizes.

This will be applauded by the Apple fans, after all, why should Apple support the anti-Apple press? When it is just picking on Apple all the time?

It will have a camera in it, and if you do not wear a black turtleneck at least once every 50 occasions of use, it will emit a deafening scream until you go get one and put it on.

You will only be able to get apps for it from the app store, and you will pay a percentage to Apple for having made sure that all your apps are clean and well intentioned, and cannot be used to access such wicked though unaccountably legal works such as the Kama Sutra.

You will be obliged to kneel and bow your head in the direction of Cupertino wherever you are in the world at least once a day.

It will look very expensive for what it is. It will have tiny amounts of memory, which if you add to it will take you well over 1,000. It will also require you subscribe to the worst possible mobile operator in your jurisdiction. Apple will do testing before picking one to make sure it really is the worst.

All in all you may feel this is a very expensive computer.

You will be quite wrong to think that. Its actually a cut price religion.

0
0

Apple's Q4 'most profitable quarter ever'

Cody

Not exactly a hater...

"I think, in the interests of bitter Apple-haters, someone should make the obligatory derogatory comments about Apple, c;'mon you know the ones."

The question we might ask is whether a continued rise in the fortunes of Apple would be good for us as buyers, or for society as a whole.

We know that its good for Apple employees and shareholders, and maybe for Apple buyers.

However, the answer to the question has to do with the lockdown lockin model. If we are happy to have our ibooks sold only through iTunes on the bookstore, and have it be impossible to use our ibook reader with anything but Mac and Windows, and if we are happy to buy all our hardware from Apple with no alternative, and if we are happy only to be able to install the software they say we can...

...and if we are happy to be denied access to an application because it might allow us among other things to download a copy of the Kama Sutra, a perfectly legal if rather dull and old fashioned publication, which for some crazed reason they do not approve of in Cupertino....

Then we can say how great Apple's success is for us and society.

Not me however, and not you too, if you start to really think about it.

0
0

Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

Cody

Control cars, and also control drivers

The issue is real simple.

We kill 3,000 people a year on the roads. Most are pedestrians, many are children. This is not acceptable. We also seriously injure well north of 20,000, which is also not acceptable.

If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live.

So, we do need speed cameras, because we need speed limits to be real and enforced like any other law. We do not need advisory speed limits which are widely ignored. We need real, rigorously enforced ones. We need the speed limit to be 20mph in residential areas and near schools, shops, community centres and the like. We need to bring the death rate and injury rate down to the irreducible minimum.

Funnily enough, by doing this, we will actually increase traffic flow and decrease congestion.

People who cannot manage to drive within the speed limit are simply incompetent drivers, and not safe on the roads. They are like people who are legally blind, who are also not allowed to drive. They must be moved to buses or bicycles. Or perhaps they should walk, or use electric mopeds.

I am not anti-car. I drive all the time, and observe all speed limits staying a few mph under them. Its not hard, it just requires attention. Driving does. My view is that much as I appreciate the car and its conveniences, I do not like cars enough to like being killed by one, or having my nearest and dearest killed by one. Control the things, and more important, control the drivers!

0
0

Apple tablet will 'redefine print,' says rumor mill

Cody

It will be insanely great!

It will be great, insanely great.

At last we will have someone who will maintain a list of books it is proper for us to read. Right now, I just download books I want, and the other day I came on a site offering a copy of the Kama Sutra. I can't tell you how distressing this was. Well, when Apple introduces its ebook, this will never happen, because the good folks there will make sure nothing upsetting is included in the store.

They will safeguard the user experience by locking the ebook to the bookstore. This will make sure that those of us who are too weak willed to refrain from downloading the Kama Sutra when it is offered to us will be preserved from, I was going to say, breaking the law, but of course the KS is legal, why I cannot imagine, but Apple will preserve us from reading inappropriate material. All that stuff about the sound 'phat', well, really!

And then there will be an app store, which will keep us from downloading any deviant apps.

And we will be prosecuted under the DCMA and any other laws Apple legal can think of should we jailbreak Apple's machine. Copyright included, because the purchase agreement will explain that this is not bought but only licensed. This will preserve the user experience as well, by protecting us from unfamiliar events.

Yes folks, its going to be insanely great, and in the great Apple tradition. Looking forward to it.

0
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Pressure group aghast at Hillingdon ID card scheme

Cody

Soviet Union

Its a great idea, and a step towards something we have needed in this country for a long time, a system of internal passports, so that before anyone could live anyplace or access any services there, including housing, he or she would have to get approval from the local council. Its great to see that these guys have seen the need in Hillingdon as the pilot project.

I am sure this will go down very well, and that Hillingdon will have great success in keeping out undesirables and attracting the right kind of people, and that when other cities and local authorities see how well its done, they will follow suit.

Good on you Hillingdon, you are the future of England. What Hillingdon drinks today, England drinks tomorrow!

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