* Posts by Alain

111 posts • joined 5 Sep 2007

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Netflix: Sacre vache! French resistance from the vestibuleurs de consommation

Alain

Re: "France has one of the highest levels of VoD consumption per head in the world"

If you don't want to watch them dubbed, you can watch them with the original soundtrack, subtitled. Since the advent of DTV (aka. TNT in France), you have a choice for most English-speaking TV series shown on the major channels.

Unfortunately, Canal+ (pay TV, 35+€/month) has the rights for most of the good ones :(

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Alain

Re: Hasn't this happened already with Upstart?

@Gene Cash: thanks for the enlightement. Yep, it seems much more instrusive than the already disliked Upstart.

> Also systemd does its own logging. In binary. Not using syslog.

> You can't cat or edit the logs any more. No. Just no.

Well, this certainly is enough for a red card in my books. Why the hell would they have broken such an immutable rule of Unix? Not using syslog? No way, indeed.

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Alain

Hasn't this happened already with Upstart?

Forgive me if I'm telling nonsense here, but hasn't all of this replacing SysV Init by some supposedly more powerful but immensely more obscure stuff (Upstart) happened already in Ubuntu without much ado being made about it?

Don't misconstrude me, I'm 100% with the grey beards here (mine is slowing turning into this color anyway). Upstart has given me headaches and has brought the immense frustration of having to re-learn something completely useless.

Just wondering...

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Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

Alain

Re: OMG... A little restraint please...

Thailand is a stressful country when you WORK there, believe me.

Especially when you try to do a proper job in the IT industry and you hit the walls of "cultural differences" constantly.

Been there, got the stress, the exhausting climate, the killer pollution, the unescapable noise, the lack of any social security net (e.g. you can end up on the streets easily if you get sick) etc.

Of course, this doesn't applies to retirees or people wealthy enough to be there in a permanent vacation on the beach. It's still a wonderful country with a wonderful people, but without stress? nope.

Sorry for the off-topic rant. Just wanted to fight the usual cliché.

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That sub-$100 Android slab you got on Black Friday? RIDDLED with holes, say infosec bods

Alain

Don't ruin the fun

All these vulnerabilities allow for easy rooting of the tablet/smartphone and they make life easy for Sunday afternoon Android hackers like myself. What's the fun of a 50€ tablet with an almost unwatchable LCD screen if you can't customise it and hack its firmware?

Until recently, most of the no-name tablets I had in my hands were giving a root shell right away from adb shell and I LIKED that. How's that for security? ;-)

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Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

Alain

What version?

What version are we talking about, specifically? the article is pretty vague.

Chrome's memory footprint has grown sharply over the couple of last years, and especially memory leaks seem to be getting worse and worse. On my lowly 32-bit XP machine (yeah... shoot me) I used to be able to keep Chrome open with 4-5 windows, each with half a dozen tabs, for a week or so before my machine started paging/swapping like hell. Now I can hardly spend a full day without my laptop flatlining. Things have really started to get much worse around version 32 IMHO.

That's one of the reasons why I tend to stay far behind Chrome releases (yeah, shoot me again).

I don't use many extensions so not being able to access the store any more doesn't bother me.

Please don't reply "use decent hardware". Not the point here. Seems to me that 3 1/2 gigs of RAM should still be enough nowadays to have ~25 browser tabs open, but maybe I'm just too old school. When I was a young engineer 8 people could compile Cobol on ASCII terminals hooked to a 6809-based machine with 1 meg of RAM... (on UniFLEX if you want to know)

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Alain

They'll supposedly get a refund

Quote from the latest info found on the BBC site: ``The Blackpool hotel has now said it will refund the money and vowed to improve the facilities.''

See here for more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-30111525 such as the alleged reason why they had this 'fine' policy in the first place. Funny.

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Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

Alain

Re: Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The ruling military junta has shown clear signs that they want to get rid of these fake tourists eventually, making the "visa runs" to a neighbourhood country every 3 months or so impossible.

Whether this will be actually done remains to be seen, but that's certainly a sword over the heads of people living like this. I'd be more afraid of having my visa application denied than of an early morning knock on the door.

To legally get a single work permit for a foreigner, the amount of money you have to put into a locally registered business and the number of locals you have to hire makes it very impractical in most cases.

With the current authoritarian regime, pushing rampant xenophobia hidden behind so-called self-sustained economy, Thailand is bound to make live increasingly difficult for all foreigners working there, especially it it's illegally.

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

Alain

Re: T68i

"Sony" Ericsson? just Ericsson at that time :-) I've been a big fan of SE phones for several years (the K750i especially) but that came much later.

The T68i is a successor of another Ericsson model I had. Same kind of shape although taller, with an external antenna. This one didn't have a colour screen but a b/w screen with a coloured backlight! You could choose among 4 or 5 different colors, and even let the phone alternate between the available coulours. I liked it a lot, for this and the pulse-flashing LED that was typical to Ericsson phones at that time and allowed one to check if the phone was getting a signal in a blink of an eye (did they invent this?) I still have it in a drawer somewhere.

Another fancy model I had (ca. 1999) was an Alcatel phone with a pull-out antenna and a unique feature: you could remove the battery, flip a plastic bar at both ends of the battery slot and put 3 AA batteries instead! Who needs powerbanks? ;-)

My very first one was the Nokia 5110.

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Annus HORRIBILIS for TLS! ALL the bigguns now officially pwned in 2014

Alain

Remote execution? huh?

With no details on the vulnerability addressed by MS14-066 given anywhere yet AFAIK (the corresponding CVE is just listed as "reserved") I fail to see how a flaw in TLS could be remotely exploitable. By this, I mean really remotely exploitable. Exploits that require the user to open some web site do not qualify as such in my own vocabulary.

It'll probaly become obvious to me when details emerge but as of now... anyone wants to share knowledge here?

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Windows XP market share FELL OFF A CLIFF in October

Alain

Graph? what graph?

The first graph is nowhere to be seen (using Chrome)... thought it was an AdBlock glitch, tried without it: same. Tried with Firefox: same.

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Bangkok gets 'net exchange with help from ISOC

Alain

Might as well mention the AIT

Kudos to the fine people at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), an international university located north of Bangkok, for playing an important part in this project (Hi Kanchana, Olivier :-))

Thailand was in dire need of such a neutral exchange point.

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French prez mulls mobe, fondleslab tax for telly

Alain

It's not really a new tax

I'll repost an edited copy if the second part of my message which has been deleted by a moderator, probably because it was addressing a serious French language error in the title. The title has changed, no French there anymore. However I think that the second part still is relevant. So here it is:

I'm not going to defend a new tax, but as far as I know the way it would work is that people who don't own a TV (at least not officially - see what I mean?) and who don't pay the TV licence ("redevance audiovisuel public") yet would start paying it if they own a PC, tablet or smartphone.

Nowadays each household pays this licence fee ONCE, regardless of the number of TV sets owned. My understanding is that this would be extended to these new devices. It's NOT an extra tax on the price of a purchased device and therefore it's different from the private copy tax. It's basically trying to collect this TV license fee from just every household, which makes sense in a way.

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Alain

Re: Don't give Aunty Beeb ideas

On the other hand, it's my understanding that you British people pay a significantly higher TV licence fee than we do as of now. If I'm not misled it's 145 pounds vs. 131 euros (103 pounds) for us (it's bound to be bumped by 5 or 6 euros next year I've heard)

Don't tell Hollande, that'd give him ideas too... ;-)

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Proprietary OS source code LEAKED to web – from 40 years ago

Alain

Concurrent CP/M

I have used CP/M-based 8080 boxes with 8 inch floppy disks to teach Cobol programming in the early 80s (so yes, I'm a criminal according to Dijkstra). Nice memories. I liked it. It was compact, simple and elegant, with these fancy command names... isn't "PIP" sexier than "COPY"?

On the other hand its descendant Concurrent CP/M 86 was my first experience of a real multi-tasking, multi-session O/S with screen flipping when only dirty hacks were used to add some very primitive multi-tasking for non-interactive processing to MS-DOS. It was a great O/S well ahead of its time. Too bad it never picked up.

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Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

Alain

Thailand

With the amount of internet censorship currently being put in place in Thailand by the military junta, I don't expect that this cable will provide a much improved internet experience to people there. Traffic has has started slowing down dramatically since the Great Leader has announced that no effort will be spared to stamp out "inadequate" network activity. Can't help but thinking this is due to filtering equipment being put online (by incompetent and lazy people as usual in government agencies there).

And in the foreseeable future I would definitely count Thailand among the potentially explosive countries that might cause trouble to this shiny new data pipe. Especially since according to the cable map found online, it lands in the unrest-ridden south.

Fortunately, it seems to be an end point.

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Register journo battles Sydney iPHONE queue, FONDLES BIG 'UN

Alain

Speakers

It's my understanding that he was speaking of the speakers, not the earpiece.

How much of your phone conversations take place in speaker mode?

Anyway, such not-so-good rendering at both extremes of the audio spectrum is irrelevant to human voice.

I'm not saying that this couldn't be regarded as a serious flaw for other uses, though.

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Microsoft's axeman Nadella fills baskets with 2,100 fresh heads

Alain

One good, one bad

Based on recent history, I'd say that ``Windows 9 will convince Win 7 and Win 8 people to upgrade, XP will finally die and then'' ... Windows 10 will be another massive failure :)

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Claimed Home Depot credit card hack could be biggest retail breach yet

Alain

Re: The U.S. should move to chip-and-PIN anyway...

Yes, chip-and-PIN cards can cause a lot of confusion, even in unexpected places.

I had to teach Budget staff at Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok, Thailand a couple of months ago how the thing worked. They were extremely confused and about to tell me "sorry sir, transaction rejected" when their machine asked for a PIN code. Fortunately, Thai people usually are friendly and open, so they happily accepted my telling how european cards work :-)

And yes, that was unexpected at the counter of a multinational car rental company in a major S-E Asia airport! But hey, this is Thailand :-)

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Japan makes Prius palatable with road map to hydrogen cars

Alain

Re: Prius attracts ridicule?

Priuses sell quite well here in France as well. I guess that government incentives for electric and hybrid cars help. They now amount to a sizeable share of the taxis in Paris.

No ridicule in this, really.

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Apple RESURRECTS the iPhone 4: report

Alain

Re: No way

@AC: ``What do you call decent apps?''

Nothing fancy really, and at 50+ I'm beyond fiddling with the latest gadget apps, believe me. I just want something that does the job.

Just an example: I've spent half a day trying to find a free battery app that gives a working battery gauge tile updated in real time. Couldn't find any. None would refresh unless I explicitly open the app.

It's been like this for just every basic app for which dozens of perfectly working free variants can be found on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

@AC#2 (so many ACs here...): sorry, my wording was ambiguous (English not my native language). The keyword was cheap, not plastic. I don't expect a titanium casing in this price range, but the back cover of my 100EUR no-name Chinese Android clone looks so much more resistant to shocks and scratches than this thing... And the 520's button buttons are terrible, really.

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Alain

No way

``Nokia's cheapo Lumia 520 Windows 8 phone will be better for most people than an iphone 4''

Let me tell you my first-hand experience: not, it won't.

My employer has inflicted 520s upon us as our new business phones. I was curious at first. I mean it, I really wanted to like it. Now I hate it from the deepest of my soul. These things are anything but usable: cheap plastic casing that makes any basement bargain Android phone look like a well-built object, buttons which look like they won't last a year, imprecise touchscreen, abysmal battery lifetime... and I won't even mention how much the O/S sucks, how much you can't find decent apps.

I'm kind of a Android fanboy, I admit it. Therefore I naturally tend to despise iPhones.

However I would trade this ugly Nokia 520 thing for an iPhone 4 *anytime* with much, much joy.

At least an iPhone 4 is usable.

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Sony's new PlayStation 4 and open source FreeBSD: The TRUTH

Alain

Re: And this is news? @Kebabbert

``HP (OSF/1, later rebranded as HP/UX)''

Huh? HP-UX existed even before OSF/1 was born.

OSF/1, from DEC, bought by Compaq which was then bought by HP, has its roots in Ultrix, DEC's port of BSD 4 which ran on VAXen and DEC MIPS workstations.

One should not mix BSD and FreeBSD/OpenBSD. Sun never had any interest the latter ones. Their own SunOS was a port of BSD 4 too until it became Solaris, which is much more SysV than BSD.

Their x86 port of Solaris doesn't share any code with OpenBSD/FreeBSD AFAIK, apart from what comes from their comon BSD 4 roots.

As for the conspirationist theories... please, spare us from these. It won't take long until someone links this to 9/11 too.

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Acer suffers terrible let-down after unexpected withdrawal of Wang

Alain

Re: They should cut the bad quality and/or unsupported lines

They're not doing that bad in the smartphone/tablet market IMHO.

Their Liquid E2/Z3 smartphones have a pretty impressive features/price ratio, and their build quality is way superior to the chinese rebrands.

The latest incarnation of their entry-level Iconia B1-710 tablet seems to be selling quite well too.

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RIP Bill Lowe: Father of the IBM PC no longer reading drive C

Alain

Re: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?

Funny that I had already made the same comment before, but my post was deleted by a moderator.

Variable standards?

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HP StoreOnce has undocumented backdoor

Alain

So what?

So many people don't change the default passwords anyway, by fear of losing it. Ask any EMC engineer how many Clariions on customer sites still have the default admin password...

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Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

Alain

Correction: Ultimate Rotation Control isn't a free app

It's an excellent little app that does the job nicely and I have bought it. It's cheap, but it isn't free

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Oracle's hardware wing keeps on bleeding

Alain
Thumb Down

Yes, and their DB customers as well

We have a bunch of Oracle DB-based apps whose cost to migrate them to another DB would make my head spin (provided it's even technically feasible) so we're stuck with them.

Despite paying ridiculous amounts of money for this service, their support is slowly approaching the point of being unusable. Unless your DB has crashed and burned, chances to get a reply from requests made on their dreaded Metalink (the slowest thing on Earth) within a week are close to nil nowadays.

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Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard

Alain

Re: Love Swiftkey

So do I. With proper training, it feels like the bloody program reads in your mind. Almost scary.

My only gripe is about the two separate versions: phone and tablet. I'm sure there's no good technical reason for this. The same program could certainly handle both. It's more like a marketing trick to force people who have both a phone and a tablet to buy two licences.

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

Alain
Thumb Down

Re: An application restart is required

Indeed, I get "an application restart is required" every bloody time I go back to the welcome screen from the app using the home key and want to enter it again. Then, 3 times out of 4, I'm greeted by an "Unfortunately, The Register has stopped"... and back to the welcome screen where I have to start the app once again. Won't stand this for long, the app is likely to be heading towards the recycle bin soon and me back to the mobile site, I guess.

Ployer Momo9C tablet, Android 4.0.3 stock.

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Traffic app Waze 'turned down Apple's $400m, wants $750m' - report

Alain

Waze ? for what ?

This information, if true, puzzles me. What Apple really needs at this point is good quality maps. This definitely isn't Waze's strongest point. Its maps are only barely usable in areas of high user density. No satellite views or reconstructed 3-D views either (well in the version I use at least). Just flat road maps.

Also there's a long way to go for Waze to match Apple's "it just works" religion. It's still kind of buggy.

Don't misconstrue me. I am a Waze user and and find this little app extremely useful and fun to use. I'm just wondering what Apple would find in this product they can't do in-house.

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PCs punch HP in the gut, servers knee it in the jewels

Alain

No innovation anymore in the server business

HP... they used to have unique, innovatively designed server blades. Although the P-series (BL20p/BL30p...) and such had some design flaws (especially the BL35p was quite unreliable), they were a dream to manage compared to whatever existed at that time.

Then came the C-Series. The BL460c especially had a mature, clean hardware design, excellent reliability and much improved and more integrated ILO (hardware management and remote console).

Then... nothing. The newest models have inferior hardware design IMO and nothing significant has happened in terms of integrated, centralised administration.

In the meantime others have come up with much more advanced concepts like virtualised WWN/MAC addresses (eg. Cisco).

HP are lagging behind now.

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The Sinofsky Letters: Defenestrated Windows overlord corresponds

Alain
Thumb Up

Trevor, this has to be the best comment I've read on El Reg for quite a while. Thanks for the reading.

I could I written every word of it, except I couldn't (English isn't my native language).

You've perfectly summarised the amount of frustration we've reached, us IT professionals, seeing our everyday work tool becoming less and less usable. We are sacrificed by MS because we are considered as not significant compared to the consumer masses. Someday this timebomb will explode in their faces, or so I hope.

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Asus offers compensation to pre-price drop Nexus 7 buyers

Alain

A bit more generous here in France ?

30 € voucher, eligible to all buyers from the major distribution chains (Darty, Auchan, Boulanger etc.) as well.

However shipping charges are not covered.

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HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7

Alain

Lenovo just gained a bunch of new customers...

Me included... and I was a long-time HP buyer, both as an individual and in my business.

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Google's Android celebrates fourth birthday

Alain

Re: It's impressive

XNU itself is based on Carnegie Mellon's Mach, another open-source project.

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All you need to know about nano SIMs - before they are EXTERMINATED

Alain

Dual-SIM phones are very common in Asia. Cheap no-name chinese (not too)smartphones such as iPhone look-alikes are almost all dual-SIM. Even real brand phones (I've seen several Samsung Android dual-SIM models sold).

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Google's Nexus 7 tabs 'can't perform' if flash RAM crammed

Alain

Re: You get what you pay for

Care to give us the company name and model name anyway?

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Airline leaves customer on hold for 15 hours

Alain

Re: On the plus side..

Some companies use online chats. I like this. Here in France Sosh (the low-cost mobile phone subsidiary of Orange) do almost all their customer support on forums and online chats. I've never waited more than a couple of minutes before having someone online, and the wait is free. Having written interaction also helps a lot having clear information passed back and forth and allows one to keep a record too (I certainly wish I'd recorded some phone conversations I've had with various customer support lines).

Of course there are situations where you can't use Internet, so they still have a regular customer service phone number, the same as Orange's so it sucks. I suspect Sosh's customers get a lower priority too. But they strongly push their customers to use their company-sponsored forums and live chats. That's part of the deal for having bargain prices on their monthly plans.

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Alain

Re: KLM much worse since Air France tie-in, I wonder why?

Although I would tend to agree that the AF-KLM merger has taken the worst of both sides, this exact same story happened to me when calling Etihad's Guest (frequent flyer) phone number. They kept me on hold for about 5 minutes before telling me to try again later and they hung up.

You know, these middle-east airlines so much praised for offering much better service than our european legacy companies...

And when I eventually make it through, the person picking up is in the Emirates, so nothing to do with a French call centre.

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O2 outage outrage blamed on new Ericsson database

Alain
WTF?

Same DB as Orange's?

This outage coming just a few days after the 10 hours almost complete black-out of Orange in France looked a bit suspicious already. But now they provide the same explanation: customer DB failure with no apparent usable online backup of the DB. Weird, really.

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HP asks court to force Oracle to obey Itanium contract

Alain

Re: OS?

Don't blame HP for killing the Alpha. Blame DEC themselves. The have completely failed to promote and sell it and Alpha was very, very sick already even before Compaq bought DEC. Yes Alpha was great and insanely ahead of its time, but DEC has failed everything but its design.

I've been in a 100% DEC shop (mostly VMS, some Ultrix) for many years and they still are the best years of my (long now) career. VMS' tightly integrated clustering is unmatched by any *nix until nowadays as far as I know. Ultrix was OK, a true-blue BSD I liked. Spent several years in the board of our local DECUS chapter. Nostalgy, nostalgy...

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Alain

Re: OS?

Do you actually work on HP-UX or are you basing your judgment on its state in the days of Tru64?

HP-UX 11iv3 actually is a very decent production-level Unix. I have worked on Solaris (a lot), AiX (quite some time), Tru64 (a little bit) as well as many variants of Linux and *BSD and why there are bits of HP-UX I strongly dislike such as the reboots still needed for way too many product updates, I have to say that it has generally become a mature and extremely stable O/S with everything I need: LVM/VxFS, ServiceGuard for clustering etc. On Itanium, its level of support for HP-PA legacy apps is awesome, with excellent perfs and the ability to import whole HP-PA systems as simili-VMs running at close to native speeds.

I do a lot of HP-bashing here so no fanboism.

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Volkswagen Up!

Alain

Re: 52MPG ?!?!

Come on pals, this is a PETROL engine. My own 2011 Polo that likely sports a close cousin of this engine (3 cylinders, 1200CC) eats between 5.2L/100km and 6.0L/100. This converts to 54-47 mpg in your strange units if I'm not misled (most online converters seem to be for US gallons). I think it's pretty decent for a petrol engine, so at 50 mpg the Up is in the same ballpark.

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Android activations near a million a day

Alain

Re: Do they know what they are doing?

Look at the /system/build.prop file on your tablet. Chances are that the chinese manufacturer has faked the device ID there in an attempt to make it able to download more apps from the Google Play Store.

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Alain
Pirate

My cheap chinese GB tablet must count for nearly a dozen activations ...

...because I've spent hours hacking into build.props, faking other device IDs to make it seen as compatible with more apps in the Play Store. At least Play Store certainly sees it as multiple different activated devices devices now :-)

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Microsoft forbids class actions in new Windows licence

Alain

No class action in France

...as far as I know. People keep calling for it.

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Review: Raspberry Pi

Alain

Re: Linux computer? (AC@07:27)

`` practically all Android slates that sell for < ~£120 use ARMv5 processors''

Quite wrong. Most of the recent low-cost chinese Android tablets use the Allwinner A10 SOC, which has a Cortex A8 inside hence ARMv7.

ARMv5 ? haven't seen any in ages.

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