* Posts by Mage

7377 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Mage
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Re: 'Twas in the year of '88

GEM was used by at least one DTP program. It wasn't much worse than windows 2.0 on 8088/8086

Counterpoint was the ultimate graphical DOS Launcher. Gem was pointless for that.

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Mage
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Re: You have not lived ....

No, the earlier RM380Z was an aluminium shoebox, Z80 & CP/M based. Stupidly with the bus as a ribbon cable across the top of the cards. Also stupidly only 7 bit data on printer port. We modded about a dozen for people so their Epson MX80 could do graphics printing and the upper part of the character set. The actual interface IC was all 8 bits. Sinclair was doing the Spectrum then and Acorn the BBC model. Schools could get a grant for Apple II (Why?), BBC Model B, or RM380Z. The BBC Acorn maybe had best range of "Educational SW" (mostly worthless compared to real teaching). The RM380Z had the most useful "professional" SW, such as Wordstar, SuperCalc, every programming language, databases, massive shareware etc, purely because of CP/M. I don't remember any school being daft enough to buy the computer without at least one floppy drive.

Why would anyone have bought a RM380Z for cassette only? Maybe a home computer for games, but you'd not have ever bought any Research Machine only for home gaming.

I was out of doing that stuff and designing industrial controllers before PC got past the 8088/8086. Hardly anyone used the 186. At least, with enough RAM, some PC makers supported various flavours of Unix on the 286 (Wang had a machine about twice the size of a PC that used giant cards and ran DOS or Unix (Maybe even MS Xenix).

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Mage
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1988 too early?

No, I was doing OOD with Modula-2 in 1985 and C++ in 1987. The seminal C++ Programming Language by Stroustrupp was published in 1986.

Glockenspiel ported the AT&T C++ preprocessor to MS DOS to sell a C++ compiler for DOS (the back end was MS C DOS compiler). Also they worked on Amiga, Atari and Xenix versions. ALL before 1988.

You don't need C++ or Smalltalk to use the ideas of OOP / OOD, though it's difficult in Fortran :)

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Fujitsu says sayonara to UK exec heavyweights

Mage
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ICL?

Is my memory working? Did the UK Fujitsu originate from their purchase of the ailing ICL? Sorry too lazy to look up wiki.

If so, it's been a gradual demise?

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Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

Mage
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Joke

Re: squeezed into a tiny radius on the order of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles),

"Then it would be a nice round 6 miles. A much more believable finger in the air number."

If you are American?

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Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Why do we need IPv6

US Universities, US Corps and US Gov (and to a lesser extent other entities around at the start) have huge allocations of IP, unused or misused. Often 16M per entity. Some entities have inherited blocks from other defunct companies, such as DEC.

We are not really running out of IP4, only out obviously unallocated IP4.

You can't actually go IP6 only till everyone has IP6.

Also there is STILL not proper support for domestic routers. Configuration, security and privacy; is just that the router doesn't implement it all, or am I stupid?

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Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

Mage
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Black Helicopters

The Chinese variant of the XS will take two physical SIMs.

Which makes the reason suspect.

An eSIM a thin end of a wedge. Apple want control of your operator access eventually.

You can fit an SD card and a physical SIM in a watch. It's just a lie that Apple don't have space for microSD card, 3.5mm jack and two real SIMs. It's about control and partly (like the notch) about differentiation. Not about cost or space.

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UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Mage
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Re: Remind me...

"in fact 'less foreigners'"

Less from the EU and more from rest of world that are prepared to work for less. The targets for immigration were fantasy. The EU workers are leaving already.

So, no, not less foreigners. That was always a lie to try and get votes back from UKIP.

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Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: Remind me...

"Blue passports are the benefit."

No, they are available to EU members, as is controlling non-EU immigration (about x10 EU immigration) or not giving arriving EU migrants just arrived with no job anything for ages. Burgundy is All was perfectly legal in EU. The fact is that T.May was ineffectual but toxic in the Home Office. The Home Office is still toxic. Almost everything the UK media & UK politicians blamed on EU for over 20 years was a lie.

Boris Johnson and his banana lies. He got sacked as a journalist for lying. No risk of libel, it's a fact.

https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/23/10-best-euro-myths-from-custard-creams-to-condoms

Even the Daily Mirror and the Mail have admitted some.

Would you believe anything the Murdoch press or media says? An Australian that bought US citizenship because the US doesn't allow foreigners to control media.

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You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Mage
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FAIL

Re: Again,

Madness.

I shut down. It takes about minute to boot Linux. My old (2002) XP laptop boots in under a minute, or did last year (converting some PSP7 to photoshop format for The Gimp). Making a cuppa or even fetching chilled fizzy water takes longer than a cold boot even with mechanical HDD. Unless you have an "out of the box" Windows with every service on and a load of nonsense autorunning in Startup etc. I've pared a Win7 boot on HDD from 2min 45sec to 20 sec.

I also unplug all chargers overnight. One of the highest fire risks. I can easily recharge any of my gadgets between early evening and bedtime.

Linux CAN start off (and to a limited extent, Windows) where you were from a cold boot. I decided over 10 years ago that this was a bad idea. I can easily get back the documents, web pages and emails I was looking at. All those programs store state on exit (or periodically in case of a crash). Notepad++ on WINE on Linux opens all the documents. If you use native format instead of MS, the LibreOffice remembers your location.

Use case for hibernation is when running out of battery suddenly and no time to save. Sleep MAYBE to carry from desk to desk?

Sleep has always been insecure and also unreliable for peripherals, esp WiFi.

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Guess who just bought Maplin? Dragons' Den celebrity biz guy Peter Jones

Mage
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and "extensive" customer data.

Should be illegal to sell off/transfer customer data. Different if it's a takeover of a going concern, basically an IPO, privatising or new major shareholders. Should be illegal for a carcass.

Actually even relaunching labels or selling them to unrelated companies is almost fraudulent. Often cheapest possible OEM junk rebranded. Some of course may be the "old quality". Most brands are bought to dupe the public.

Very few well known pre 1980s brands of Consumer Electronics are real. RCA, Grundig, Telefunken, Philips, Akai, Bush, Murphy, Morphy Richards, Swan, Roberts, Nokia, Alcatel, Thinkpad. See what brands Glen-Dimplex and Whirlpool own.

However what reputation did Maplin have in the last few years?

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GDPR v2 – Gradually Diminishing Psychotic Robots: Brussels kills Terminator apocalypse

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: Weaponizing AI will happen, denying this is suicidal

V1 (Pointed drone)

V2 (Rocket with onboard navigation)

Cruise Missiles. Can autonomously navigate. Basically a developed hybrid of V1 & V2.

Loitering missiles (really hybrid missile / drones) with ANPR. They then automatically target the vehicle.

All these are/were real.

Real AI is not real. It's human written algorithms, human curated data, data flow programming with data at the nodes. Basically a specialist database and pattern matching. The technology and databases are incrementally improved.

There is no actual intelligence. Essentially the targets are selected by human set rules and data in advance. This already exists. Not much different to an Uber self driving car.

So called "AI" is already used in weapons. These laws and resolutions are less effective than banning landmines or cluster munitions.

Why were chemical and biological weapons banned? WWI showed regular artillery was more effective than gas. WWII Nazis found there was no delivery method, so only used them for executions. Most weapons banned by international agreement is PR, because they are not very good weapons. Or too good (Thermonuclear).

Weapons that kill indiscriminately today include suicide bombs, IED, land mines, cluster munitions, bombing, missiles (esp the ones fired from Gaza). Wars since the start of the 20th Century more and more target civilians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-personnel_weapon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_munition

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvised_explosive_device

I'm against autonomous weapons. Concentrating on so called Killer AI is though straining gnats and swallowing camels!

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World's oldest URL – fragments 73,000 years old – discovered in cave

Mage
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Happy

Wonderful

I've read a lot of reports on this. This is the best.

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You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Mage
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Alert

Re: not yours

Also DO NOT download direct to DRM enabled devices. DRM actually is contrary to the principle of copyright and doesn't stop commercial pirates.

Buy discs.

If getting eBooks, buy from Smashwords (legal and no DRM and all devices), or if Amazon, NEVER direct to Kindle or Kindle App. Select Transfer via USB and download to Mac, Windows or Linux. Make backups. Remove DRM if you are outside USA.

Do not EVER rely on Cloud storage.

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It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Nokia is dead! Long live Nokia!

"producing some phones again"

No, like Blackberry by TCL. and other brands it's a licenced badge.

Curiously Nokia also now owns the Alcatel brand used by TCL, though TCL seems to have made phones for Alcatel when Alcatel still existed.

You can also buy Roberts, Bush, Grundig, RCA, Telefunken Goodmans, Philips, Motorola and Akai AV related stuff. None of those really exist now. Also now just badges are Russell Hobbs, Morphy Richards and many other UK household names.

Yes, Nokia Networks and some other parts of Nokia are profitable. The Networks part bought the network infrastructure parts of Motorola, Siemens and Alcatel. Unless they improve management and how they relate to customers, the Chinese companies will wipe them out.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: MS are the scapegoat?

Yes, Nokia started losing the plot long before messing up with Linux, Trolltec / QT etc.

Banking on S60, killing Crystal and S80. What they needed OS wise was the N9210i with a touch screen. They could have done versions like later 5800 and E65 and Blackberry as well as N9210 factor (which was a bit like the Gemini). The internal management was killing the phone division. Was the real plan, all along, in bringing in Elop, to flog a dead horse to MS? MS didn't get any IP or even the name.

If Elop was a Trojan Horse, then MS was Troy.

Also the Ovi store killed Nokia Widgets (useful on N65) and the Symbian Ecosystem. They could not turn an open ecosystem into iTunes / Playstore. By time of the N65, the S60 GUI on top of Symbian was a mess.

Also capacitive and resistive touch screens existed on LCD devices from the late 1980s, but the use case was deemed to be annotation and text recognition for corporate. Before iPhone operator deals only rich people or business users could afford the data charges. There was no perceived need for mainly consumption GUI that could use capacitive touch (it's finger resolution, resistive is stylus / annotation resolution).

So Nokia's phones doomed by internal politics and too late react to cheaper data tariffs.

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Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

Mage
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Thumb Up

We missed you and your delightful columns.

I worried that you'd gone. Welcome back.

I have to say I've not a clue who most of those pop stuff are. I'm obviously getting old. The only DAFs I know are the cars with the rubber band transmission, the trucks, the DAF91 and DAF96 (valve/tube).

I remember my kids buying Blur, Coldplay and maybe something called Dido.

The gym uses CDs?

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Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

Mage
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Re: Guess it's back to Firefox then

Firefox / Mozilla have lost the plot.

I changed to Waterfox when Firefox 52ESR expired in August.

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Mage
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Typical of Google.

Arrogant.

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Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

Mage
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Re: The product is strong, and the vision is excellent

Really?

It's a niche product subsidised by less tax than regular car fuels. That's not sustainable in the long term. Electric cars are over 100 years old.

The traditional car makers tinkered with Lithium battery powered cars before Tesla. If there is a decent market they will promote the Electric and Hybrid cars THEY ALREADY MAKE, more. Both commodity market and niche deluxe versions.

Tesla can't compete with GM, Nissan, VW, Ford, Fiat/Chrysler, Toyota etc.

He's tried to be more profitable by vertical integration (making his own batteries). Except the more he sells, the bigger his losses get, despite being essentially a subsidized product. About 67% of fuel here is Government tax. Governments are planning on how they will tax Electric cars if the fuel burning ones are gone.

His car company has no future.

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Nokia reinstates 'hide the Notch' a day after 'Google required' feature kill

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Here's an idea!

Have a simpler purely rectangular screen and make the case 3mm longer for a camera and speaker. The length isn't critical, only width. Also while you are at it make the phone and case thicker:

1: More bend proof.

2: Maybe twice battery capacity.

The phones have been pointlessly thin for years, unless you have skin tight jeans with no stretch.

Also a cover that would fold to back with cut out for speakers, status and rear camera so you don't almost double thickness with a case. The case can increase width & length by easily 6mm and thickness by 8mm.

Current phones look nice in review photos (though all similar), but are an ergonomic failure in real life. A phone that needs a bumper / cover is a design failure.

!!

Apple is more about appearance and perception than usability today.

Was Apple's idea of the notch simply to differentiate the appearance?

Was removal of the 3.5mm ear/mic jack purely to sell expensive buds? It and the desire to remove the SIM holder are not about space or saving money! They need charged, they reduce quality as you STILL have a DAC and stereo amp (potentially a worse one due to smaller batter) and add the degradation and latency of a Bluetooh codec pair in phone and earbuds. Also means the FM tuner can't be used (it comes "free" in WiFi chips) as the earphone cable is the aerial. No, streaming doesn't replace radio, it's complementary to it.

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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Mage
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Noisy printers?

The fastest IBM Golf-ball printers.

The line printers with the letters on an embossed metal band and hammers at each character position.

Some motorised rotary duplicators.

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Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till

Mage
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Re: much more fun in the days of valve TVs

My dad watered the plant on top of the recently installed Colour TV, that had replaced the B&W hybrid one we watched Moon Landing on. Not sure it had any valves (1971?). He missed, the TV went blank and made crackly sounds. Later it was turned back on and worked.

Likely while spectacular, repairing watered valve gear is easier than modern electronics. SMPSUs? Replace all the caps and semiconductors as fault-finding is often fruitless, though on one occasion I simply replaced the rectifier that had a hole "blown" in it, and the standalone DVD player/recorder worked again. I use it occasionally as it can "burn" Firewire O/P of 8mm Digital camcorder to DVD. My last laptop had FW, but nothing newish I have has it.

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BlackBerry KEY2 LE: Cheaper QWERTY, but not for what's inside

Mage
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Re: A word of caution regarding TCL

Only marginally more creepy than Google's use of Android, sources?

There are firmware updates? ^_^

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Mage
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Am I missing something?

I think the physical keyboard on the more expensive model is like a laptop touch pad as well as separate real clicky buttons. Which sounds more expensive than an ordinary keyboard or a touch screen.

The eReaders would benefit from a home, menu, back, and pair of page turn buttons. The old Sony PRS350 is nice. Sadly most ereaders save money (very little as eink screens are madly expensive) by only having a power button.

The three or four Android touch areas would be better as six physical buttons, plus the two or three on side. Having to use a touch area on LCD is STUPID for the Camera. My older Android phone could use a button on the side for "take" and the volume for zoom. The newer designs are designed to be shaken or dropped when taking a photo.

I blame Steve Jobs, Jony Ives, Google and Sinofsky & Co for all our GUI ills.

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We've found another problem with IPv6: It's sparked a punch-up between top networks

Mage
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nothing wrong with the protocol

An amazing claim.

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Windows 10 July update. Surface Pro 4. Working fondleslab. Pick two

Mage
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Re: no display output rotation support yet

Proof that one GUI can't do primarily touch AND primarily keyboard/mouse.

Most people do not chose windows or regular Linux distros with a Tablet in mind.

Or buy a tablet with other than iOS / Android.

There are niche markets that need a x86-64 Windows Tablet. Pity MS charges twice what an equivalent laptop would cost!

I HAVE got Linux Mint + Mate and Linux vanilla Debian to work on two tablety devices. Screen rotation worked on both. The touch "rotation" needed an additional script for the Lenovo combo laptop/tablet. I couldn't solve touch rotation on the Linx1010 tablet + keyboard dock. It seems like horrible HW anyway, and ominous that it came with 32bit EFI and 32 bit Win10 despite being a 64bit Atom. I guess not enough RAM for win10 64, though there is no penalty choosing 64bit Linux on x86-64 CPUs with low RAM (It seems Intel has some 64 bit Atoms with I/O crippled to only allow small amount of RAM, 2G?)

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Mage
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FAIL

Re: This is one of Microsofts biggest failures

"Windows 8 got a billion hours of testing"

But the most basic usability testing on existing laptops and desktops either wasn't done at all, or the results ignored.

You can't EVER do the SAME GUI for a phone / tablet primarily for consumption and entirely finger touch and a desk system primarily used for content generation with a mouse and keyboard.

A TV screen needs a 3rd type of GUI. Android TV, apart from the privacy issues, is a mess.

MS and other Media Centre software can't decide if for a Screen 2m or more away, or for one person at a desk. A disaster on XP & Vista. PC media centre software needs two modes of GUI.

You'd think going from DOS, Win 2.x, Win 3.x and Win9x that MS was learning something about GUIs. Then Ribbon, Vista, Win8, Win10 showed that they had junked everything they ever learnt as they jumped from one extreme to another. Win7 was merely a bug fix, a service pack of Vista. At least you could turn off most of the stupidity of Vista/Win7, though they inexplicably made the slightly buggy Explorer file manager features worse. The server 2003 (server version of XP) was a bit bloated. Who'd have thought that it and Office 2003 would be the high point and it would be all downhill?

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Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case

Mage
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Re: Evasive action

I think uMatrix is better than noScript. However I don't see how you can block detection of client with blocking only cookies & JavaScript. I do block all 3rd party Cookies and lots of JavaScript. I'm sure Facebook can still track, but not as well as Google can.

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Mage
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Pixel?

Also the "recommended" Facebook button/icon offered to website builders has javascript etc to track. Facebook will also know the previous URL.

I'm sure that after a while Facebook / Google etc have a very complete profile. Think how many people use same name on different forums that also have every form of Google and Facebook tracking.

They'd know which area you live in, though geoip can be wrong. What sites you use, how often and when.

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Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be

Mage
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Re: "number portability"

Works after about 10 minutes in Ireland when you change Sim.

Cost to unlock phone is close to zero (at operator, €22 for 3rd parties) as long as contract is up, or 9 months past on subsidised Pay as You Go (AKA "pre pay" or anonymous Sim).

Phone subsidies are evil. They lock out some makers and increase "landfill" on contracts. Ordinary network users are then also subsidising those "buying" high end phones "free on contract".

They need banned.

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Mage
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Devil

eSim: not about space.

Not needed even for IoT.

I have a "watch" with a micro SD card and a Sim. It's not about space, Neither is deleting the SD card slot or the 3.5mm jack (control of content and a gimmick to sell expensive buds that need separately charged AND reduce quality).

It's mostly about Apple wanting more control and more profit. Save another few cents.

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Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

Mage
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Re: Never mind all that....

I have or have had similarish Saba, Siemens and AEG. Don't recognise the tweeter panels at the side. Yes, 1950s German radios often had two tweeters, sometimes electrostatic direct off the 250V EL84 anode. I do have one French set that inexplicably is that sort of style. The French favoured "Empire" styling. Insides it's not anything like the German models. Bush and Pye later copied the style but without the side mounted tweeters.

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Mage
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Re: A microwave link to populated areas?

A microwave link can be reliable and give Gbps speeds.

Though here the annual Comreg licence might be €10,000 p.a.!

A decent microwave link might replace 15km or even 25km (high site to high site or pylons).

Wooden poles and less than 2km silly, especially rural, where you can use a dedicated machine to bury in a ditch, put it on Electric or phone poles, feed it inside a water main or sewer. You can even put it on the HV grid distribution cables.

This sounds like a really cheap link that you can buy on the internet to link two roof tops a few blocks away in a city.

Disgraceful short termism. Though NI is worse than England and Ireland is among worst in Europe outside city areas. Most fibre has been installed purely cherry picking and to compete with UPC/Virgin Media (TV, phone and 250Mbps cheaper than the DSL copper, typically 3Mbps to 22Mbps).

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It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

Mage
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XP registry

I did this out of curiosity on an XP desktop used a couple of times a year in the workshop. It's pretty easy (unlike Win10) to review the suggested updates and hide the ones only needed for a POS and inappropriate for a workstation.

I have a 2 way belkin box someone chucked out. The other PC on the box, sharing screen, keyboard and mouse is running Linux Mint + Mate. The WINE on it runs some old VB6 and other programs needed in the workshop for test gear that won't run even on 64 bit Win7, though they do work on 32 bit win 7.

Likely the Office XP / aka Word 2002 might be a risk?

Fine if not used on the Internet or with files of unknown provenance (data or programs).

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Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress

Mage
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Beta?

EVERYTHING at Google seems to be Beta till junked.

Android still feels like a Beta of Windows 3.0 but with tiles instead of Program Manager (and no decent File Manager unless you buy one).

The Pixel is a niche product aimed at rich Google fans.

Tesco sells plenty of decent Android smart phones at €100 to €200, pay as you go, only locked to carrier for 9 months. Some even have SD card slots and 3.5mm sockets.

The $500 to $1000+ phones are a waste of money.

If you want a really significantly better camera, you need a decent dedicated camera with a viewfinder. ANY smart phone is very limited on optical zoom, aperture, low light performance and ability to actually hold it while photographing.

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It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

Which GUI? It has two. Both are better than later versions of PSP than 7 when you learn them, not hard. Both are FAR better than the latest Firefox or Windows 10 desktop. Or MS Ribbon / Word.

The GUI is daunting if you are used to something else. I pick the All in One window and customise. Some Photoshop users with two or three screens might like the default multiwindow.

In either case, actually using it and configuring it is rewarding. Unlike Win 10 where all than can be changed is colour schemes or Firefox where you need 52 ESR and Classic Theme restorer.

Really it's just a bit different and productive once you figured where the various parts are and how to configure.

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Mage
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Happy

Not just Photoshop, but PSP.

I used to really like Paint Shop Pro. It seemed to go "off" more and more after Version 7, so I uninstalled and went back to 7. Occasionally I tried The Gimp, but text baffled me. Then I switched entirely to Linux Mint + Mate desktop + TraditionalOK theme (or similar customised earlier). I figured out how to do text, which was actually FAR better than PSP7. I found the PSP native format plug in wouldn't work, so booted my old 2002 XP Laptop and converted all my PSP7 native stuff to Photoshop format (the Tif, png, bmp, jpg was no problem in Gimp). No problem importing the photoshop format.

The Gimp isn't something to be figured out in 10 minutes, but once you put half a day or a day into it, it's actually easier to use than PSP7. Much easier than later PSP versions with their baffling inconsistent GUI compared to 7.

I've used Photoshop and in the days of Win 3.x, Aldus Photostyler, sad it was eaten.

~

With PSP now "broken" by Corel, Windows "broken" by MS and Adobe a Rental model that fails if their server or internet is down, now Photoshop is only for corporate funded Mac users?

~

Ages ago they added decent Pen support and ability to have one window.

My Gimp is 2.8. My LibreOffice only 5.2, My Firefox is 52 ESR. I COULD update direct, but actually using Mint and letting the Ubuntu and other users test the newest version of stuff is turning into a nice strategy.

I'll look forward to getting LibreOffice 6.x and its enhanced custom dictionary mode, though Tabbed documents like Gimp & Firefox has would be nice. I look forward to this newer Gimp, eventually.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

Mage
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Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) software

I've said from the BEGINNING that Autoplay, UPnP etc are inherently stupid. Making use too simple at price of security.

I've always disabled uPnP on routers and it and SSSD (sp?) on Windows Services, as well as all other silent automatic code running except USB.

USB HID is another issue. Maybe use USB cables carefully opened and the Data wires cut? Esp. when travelling, though sadly DC voltages/resistors on the D+ & D- in the charger tell the appliance what the maximum charging current is, so you might only get 500mA instead of 1A or 2A.

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Heads up: Fujitsu tips its hand to reveal exascale Arm supercomputer processor – the A64FX

Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: ARM dreams of being in a laptop?

I'm amazed I didn't know of the A4. Wikipedia doesn't seem to mention it, or not obviously.

http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org.uk/Computers/A4.html

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/22807/Acorn-A4-Laptop/

Has no-one made a Raspberry Pi into a "laptop"? I found that the barrier to using an ARM tablet with a decent USB keyboard, USB hub, mouse etc as a "laptop" is the abysmally unfinished nature of Android and fact it's optimised for a small screen. Sometimes you can have two windows, some applications can print (the Brother print driver seems to work without the cloud), some applications support external storage. You need a third party file manager. A decent keyboard with AltGr, \ beside Z and non-USA English support and mapping needs a third party program.

Even my ancient Sony Ericsson phone had HDMI, USB2Go etc and with Android 4.x sort of worked with an HD screen, USB HDD, mouse and keyboard.

The cheap Tablet hardware is out there to make an ARM Laptop, but now LESS useful as makers drop separate charger port, 3.5mm jack, HDMI connector, SD card slot etc. Also unless you can root it an put on Linux, the Android OS is too consumption & phone orientated to use as a laptop. Hence Chrome, but if I got a free Chrome thing, It would be given away if I couldn't put Linux on instead. Chrome purely exists as Google Services client, though some offline use possible.

The problem is that even Linux Laptop usage is still a minority sport helped by WINE. Sadly for people creating content, both x86 and Windows have dominated for too long. Apple can easiest do an ARM laptop, because they have a history of dropping CPUs (68000 family, Power PC, 32bit x86), they seem to be going 64bit only on the x86-64 cpu with blocking even 32bit applications.

IBM PC and Windows 9x (rather than multiplatform NT from 3.1 to 5.x --Win2K,XP Server 2003) have really held back the industry.

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Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

Mage
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Big Brother

Bigger issue than cars.

Car problem is a symptom of Corporate carelessness, greed and exploitation!

The entire IoT & "connected" industry is stuffed full of user data exploitation by big companies, bricked gadgets when a company loses interest and massive security & 3rd party privacy flaws.

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The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

Mage
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Coat

Hmm

Perhaps if I out on foot I will wear a GAA helmet. Not as hot and heavy as motorcycle full face and more effective than a cycle helmet.

Will shopping centres / malls make them illegal like they had to do with wheelie footwear?

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Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Just need 1G acceleration.

Not possible for very long. A variation of the rocket equation applies to carrying the fuel (even antimatter), the longer the thrust, the more fuel and thus the more fuel needed for same thrust due to higher mass.

Forget solar power (light or wind) except to accelerate to edge the Kuiper belt. The Oort Cloud is about a thousand times further than the Kuiper belt. Any likely nearby stars are 10x to 100x further. Space is really really big.

Secondly, you need more thrust to maintain 1G as you get faster.

It's probably not possible to maintain 1G even 1/2 way to the nearest star. Basic physics & mathematics says no.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

The dinos etc were very successful. Around a long time. They didn't have a Bruce Willis.

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Mage
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Re: Give it a couple of million years

"And there'll be a human output in every corner of the galaxy." No, unless 'human' is a generic term for tool and language using sentient creatures rather than homo sapiens. Perhaps we shouldn't be speciest.

Interstellar space is like a quarantine system. Unless there is physics we don't know about. A generation ship is theoretically possible. No evidence that cryogenics does anything other than kill mammals. Some sort of hibernation with a short awake period every few months might be plausible.

SF needs starships. It doesn't mean they have to exist in the real universe, though it would be interesting if they did.

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Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Slight numerical error.

Valve (tube count) earlier.

Why when transistor usable by 1949 that there were almost no transistor sets till 1959?

There were some prototypes in 1948 or 1949. First commercial set was the Regency TR1 in 1954. It used a 22V battery (developed for valve hearing aids).

The first transistors about $18 each compared with 50c for some valves (tubes). The battery valves by 1953 had got to 1.4V and 25mA filaments. Some 0.7V for hearing aids (two in series for a 1.5V battery). Eventually the Russians had tubes with 1.2V 11mA filaments only about x4 length and similar diameter to transistors that could work to over 100MHz.

Though Sony changed their name to Sony to sell transistor radios made in Japan in USA in latter half of the 1950s, some US and many Japanese makers made pocket valve (tube) sets using 22V or 45V and 1.5V cell, using military & hearing aid tubes, with one regular battery tube for speaker or a pair of transistors. These even looked like 1960s plastic transistor sets.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: Slight numerical error.

Yes, you can make a radio with about four 7 µA transistors. You'd need a bit more for the audio drive, though you can use a ceramic disk as used in a beeper as the earphone. A single 1.5V button cell to power it.

Or you can make an entire radio in an IC using DSP with only a low pass filter on the aerial (up to 30MHz or 40MHz), or a bandpass filter (probably any 40MHz band from 40MHz to 2GHz) using the ADC as an aliasing mixer.

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Mage
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within the aqueous electrolyte

Curiously the first attempts to make a transistor, before the name was even invented, had the crystal immersed in an aqueous electrolyte,

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Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Mage
Silver badge

It's an OS for a device that does everything Windows XP

Really?

Crap and erratic support on apps for copy/paste, printing, external storage, non-USA keyboards, custom key layouts, network resources etc.

It's more like Win 3.0. Barely, at least you didn't have to BUY a file manager for win 3.x.

Android is a work in progress that has been crawling in terms of developing useful to user rather than useful to Google features.

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Mage
Silver badge

Re: Where are the missing e-ink tablets?

Android is pointless on eInk Readers and maybe only to make vendor "spying" easier.

The eInk is inherently only suited to reading and annotation, yet most are useless for actually getting the notes back to PC. Yet they put things like share note/higlight to Facebook, but not email nor ability to easily read back on per book basis.

I've an Android tablet and phone. The phone is convenient for reading eBooks, yet I've not found a single really good (i.e. actually better than Kobo H20, Sony PRS350 or Kindle eInk) ereader app.

The ability to search, organise, categorise, import the books is terrible. New eReaders in some cases worse than early ones. Homescreens almost dedicated to marketing. Worse than 1980s document management systems.

No point in Android apps in general on an eInk screen. They are best for reading. They could do with better reading apps and book management. This has not improved in 12+ years.

I've used maybe nine models of eReaders (one oddly was LCD not a tablet like Fire) and tried loads of Android apps. Aldiko not too bad.

I should not need Calibre to manage my "library" and eReaders.

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