* Posts by Mage

5928 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

Mage
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Re: Over the past two decades or so, we've had vultures fly off

I see a plan...

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Mage
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Happy

Quality

So Sky News Tech reporting will be much better. What's the percentage increase?

Sorry to see you leave.

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Bullyboy Apple just blew a $500m hole in our wallet, cries Qualcomm

Mage
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Re: Did I get that right?

Mostly if you buy a CPU or RF chip, that's all you pay. The idea that you also pay a royalty based on the final equipment retail price is what Qualcomm enforces. AMD, Intel, Samsung, ARM, Analog Devices, Texas Instruments etc would love that?

Actually very many patents should be invalidated as they are not to protect a companies production of anything, but simply to cream off money from real manufactures, especially as many of the patents don't meet any reasonable criteria. Anything obvious to someone schooled in the art, or that already exists (not novel) or is software or mathematics should not be patentable.

Many Telecom "FRAND" patents (and others, but I worked in Telecom) were set up as a Cartel pool to keep out new entrants and various standards have been inferior due to lobby to have particular IP included (a better way that didn't use existing IP would be thrown out by standards committee)

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Mage
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Re: Qualcomm will lose the suit

Qualcomm poisoned the 3G and 4G well.

They have bought promising companies and shuttered them to leverage the IP. Many tech companies have patents and copyrights to protect their investment in R&D, Production and Marketing. Qualcomm turns that on it's head, they do R&D, Production and Marketing to support their overpriced IP licence sales.

Patents and Copyright royalties should ONLY be included in the chip bought. Qualcomm's model of essentially supplying chip and charging the royalty on the product that uses it is simply greed, that should only apply to someone using Qualcomm IP as part of a chip they make themselves if the internal value of chip can't be established (i.e. Samsung designed chip exclusive to Samsung, Samsung foundry and Samsung Phone, obviously Samsung could claim it's a really cheap chip.). But in this case Qualcomm is selling the chip, Apple isn't making it.

Not that it's not a Kettle & Pot situation but OTHER makers suffer Qualcomm's greedy approach to royalties. Put the Qualcomm stuff on a module swappable with Broadcom / Intel / Etc and sell it separately is what I would recommend to all makers of gear using Qualcomm stuff.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Not regulated?

Not in UK and Ireland were any delivery person to living room, service technician, dish / aerial fitter etc is called an "engineer" even if they only did a H&S course and orientation course to know which is the pointy end of a drill.

It's demeaning to real engineers that had to get a bunch of A Levels, do a 3 to 4 year University degree and in some cases nearly a year of work experience before they are called an Engineer.

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Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry's KEYone is one hell of a comeback

Mage
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Re: If not, go back to your iPhone.

I can't see Apple making a phone with a QWERTY built in. Likely they will have a phone with NO connectors at all and no buttons soon (Inductive so called wireless charging and various wireless techs for all I/O).

Apple might even ditch touch screen and insist you use voice + guesture (video camera)

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: It's not a BlackBerry...

Yes, but keyboard + decent screens are so rare, I'd nearly take windows. I don't want to pay a premium for an Apple Inc (who NEVER have made a phone with a decent amount of buttons) so an Android with keypad & decent screen is better than nothing, which seems to be the alternative.

I use my Android Sony as a feature phone. No Wifi or BT or Mobile Data. Save photos / load music via USB. Has nice FM radio too and a Notepad app.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Mage
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Re: Always use the disabled toilets

Disabled Parking?

seems a strange concept.*

Accessible parking for certificate holder makes more sense.

(*Though Tesco's "Free from" branding horribly mangles the English language. The "Free From" should be UNDER the main foodstuff name, not above it.)

I dirty bogs are frightening and I tend to look for somewhere else. But the opulent luxury type Dabbs describes are worrying. I always wonder is it some sort of elaborate trap.

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Intel redesigns flawed Atom CPUs to stave off premature chip death

Mage
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Atom Cat?

Has Intel lost the mojo?

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Mage
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Re: There's enough Apple Corp "fans"

"There's enough Apple Corp "fans" ( I use word in it's strictest sense! )"

Apple Corp was the pre-existing Beatles label.

Apple Computer dropped the word computer from their name. They are Apple Inc.

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Mage
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Re: Dear Apple.

The name Pear Technologies "must be assessed against the background of the fact that the word, where understood, merely reinforces the same concept as the one attributed to the sign's figurative element, thus creating a semantic unit."

And that's not even Apple's lawyer talking – that is the decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which actually ruled for Apple and against Pear Technologies.

I'm disappointed with the EU. There ought to be a corruption or incompetence investigation about this and the people that made the ruling personally fined.

As well as Apricot, Cherry is or was a tech company. There have been many "fruity" tech companies.

Blackberry, Cherry, Pineapple, Apricot, Tomato (motherboards) and others.

How the hell can anyone confuse a pear silhouette with no bite, with Apple's stolen from the Beatle's Apple Corp (using an apple core logo) apple with a bite. I'm surprised Apple hasn't sued the LGBTQ folk too as the logo used to have coloured stripes (though curiously in the "wrong" order".

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Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Mage
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Re: Inspired dead authors to write

They are probably Ghost Writers then.

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Mage
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Copyright

Should be creators life + one Generation (i.e. 25 years) Max. The Life + 75 is crazy.

ALSO publishers should not get the author's exclusive rights for more than 5 years.(Books are worst at traditionally full copyright term even if it's pulped 2 months after release). All publishing. Books, Music composition, Performance, Scripts, Acting etc.

The publisher should be able to continue Non-exclusively publishing, but pay royalties. We don't what the crazy where BBC wasn't just reusing video tape to save money, because they had no repeat rights etc, but actually destroying films. BBC were the worst Cultural vandals in UK 1960s to 1990s (at least).

Also collections, stock photo houses, governments, BBC etc defacing photos with (c) when it's now really public domain. Or charging big fees for photos or film archives which copyright has expired or they never owned, they just happened to have to physical item.

How can 5,200 year old Irish Newgrange interior or French Eiffel tower view be copyright?

I'm 100% behind copyright and against Google / Facebook / stock libraries landgrab.

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ITU's latest specs show that 5G is not just a wireless network

Mage
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5G was never really about faster Mobile

You need more smaller cells for faster mobile. The 5G process was always more about integration of infrastructure.

Just ignore all the 5G hype. It's irrelevant.

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British government has bought a £200m 5G 'academic wet dream'

Mage
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Re: Is it just me....

Not the ISPs. Or Mobile companies.

Infrastructure sellers and Treasury via regulators selling spectrum licences, for pretty useless spectrum.

The phone makers only slightly benefit when people realise only in-office femto cells instead of just as fast WiFi that's cheaper works.

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Mage
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FAIL

5G faster Broadband nonsense.

"In the end, mmWaves will also be used for mobile"

GARBAGE. Only in-room Femto so you get charged instead of "free wiFi". Your so called fast mobile only works with femto cells FED BY FIBRE.

Its PHYSICS. About 2600MHz is the upper small cell limit for Mobile. 900MHz to 2100MHz is best. 800MHz is low capacity because cells are too large. 700MHz poorer still and pure Treasury greed to sell licences as cells are massive.

The 3500 MHZ (3.5GHz) has been tried for 10+ years. It doesn't matter what "G" or standard is used, it's crap in the real world for mobile. Works in an office femto cell or rooftop fixed wireless.

The 10.5Ghz has been used over ten years. Strictly LOS fixed wireless with minimum aerial panels about size of tablet computer.

Fibre to premises / home and to a lesser extent HFC (Fibre to cabinet and only a few people sharing a coax cable in a street) gives better broadband. Not Wireless ever.

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Mage
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Devil

3G 4G 5G Irrelevant

What REALLY gives more capacity and reliability and speed is many more masts. It's CELLULAR. Basic physics and mathematics.

What what incentive is there even for hypothetical 6G? None. Because with current pricing models they will have the same number of customers (roughly) and same income (roughly), yet no matter what the system, for practical mobile frequencies you need about x10 as many masts to have x10 performance (yes it's more complicated than that).

A single wholesale RAN for Europe for 900MHz to 2100MHz would instantly double to triple the speed and performance compare to splitting the spectrum to multiple operators for the "once off per spectrum" greedy auctions. Governments get the retail VAT from use. Profiting from fragmenting the spectrum for so called competition is short term Tresury greed.

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Mage
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Flame

Future Codecs

Often HD codec support is via GPU. Almost no cheap CPU can manage HD with more advanced codecs.

Ultimately you get codecs that can't be implemented on older HW, (Phone, Tablet, Laptop etc). To an extent a PC with a graphics card can be updated, but usually x2 to x3 price of a new setbox with a dedicated ASIC / FPGA/GPU (or combo) for the new codec and standard.

Also digital is also now often used to reduce cost, not improve quality. DAB+ trials used slightly lower quality DAB and much lower than FM, by running at 64K stereo. HD is now often 1440 x 1080 instead of 1920 x 1080 and at lower quality than at launch. Most SD is now lower quality than PAL, with 544 x 576 common rather than 704 x 576 or 720 x 576.

You can get older DVDs that were properly mastered from film by scanning at 4K and then antialising. These can be better quality than some upscaling.

Tablets or Chromecast isn't the solution. While I'm ranting can I point out that apart from privacy issues the GUI standards of Android TV are an abomination?

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Mage
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Unhappy

MPEG-2 format into the newer, smarter and more efficient MPEG-4 format.

MPEG4?

Ireland only ever deployed MPEG4, since about 2007 (Tests) and full ASO in 2012. On DVB-T, not DVBT2, and for SD.

Of course EVIL retailers sold UK incompatible TV models, claiming acceptable because 82% of Ireland uses Pay TV, which is either cable box or a satellite box.

In 2006 there was experimentation of the idea of using the PCMCIA style slot for CAMs to add codecs. Any models produced (up to maybe 2010) ran too hot and could only do SD even on HD sets. An external DVB-T setbox was cheaper.

A worse problem than Codecs is RF Modulation. With a TV stick the codec is SW on the tablet or PC (and many are poor at HD). The DVB-T sticks can't ever do DVB-T2, so they work for SD & HD in Ireland (MPEG4) but don't work at all in UK, where all MPEG4 is on DVB-T.

Another issue with laptops and tablets etc is that they are all essentially USA/Japanese 60 fps. All European, Chinese, Russian, Australian and African TV is 25 or 50, so the frame rate has to be converted, making horizontal motion smear, especially if the source is interlaced (most common).

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Mage
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Re: Chromecast

Chromecast is no solution.

1) Privacy

2) Needs Broadband

3) Needs additional HW.

A setbox is more sensible.

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After blitzing FlexiSpy, hackers declare war on all stalkerware makers: 'We're coming for you'

Mage
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Legaliity

In many countries installing anything on any device of a 3rd party without permission is a crime.

It's also illegal to track location without permission or warrant. (They were thinking of GPS or other bugs on a vehicle).

So not just the people installing the wares Stalking companies, but Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc may be breaking national laws in many countries. It's illegal for an employer too, without saying, even if the employer's phone, tablet, laptop etc, in many countries.

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Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up

Mage
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Ironic application?

We bought an original spectrum and the program was just a simple test card to align geometry on video monitors (composite video in) we were assembling.

It seems that would need an RGB to composite adaptor, (which I have and it even creates PAL), if the RGB is sort of SCART / TV timing rather than VGA timing (which is about twice scan frequency)

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Mage
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Re: Rick Dickinson

ZX Spectrum Next

Maybe looks a bit like a QL keyboard? It's maybe 35 years ago, but I seem to remember that one Sinclair had a horrible flat membrane and the Spectrum had kind of raised rubbery keys like novelty erasers?

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Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Mage
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Program for a puppet

First published October 1st 1981, Program for a puppet (Roland Perry), envisages a puppet US president and shadowy people using computer tools to fake voice recordings.

I don't remember it in Brunner's "Shockwave Rider" (1975 and had computer worms as well as Ritalin type drugging of most people.)

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eBay denies claims it's failing to thwart 'systematic fraud'

Mage
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Re: poor quality any time later

The eBay "Feedback" button expires too quickly, often before stuff actually gets here, I think customs delay non-EU stuff, esp. HK & China.

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Mage
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Re: paypal account link

That's why they spend the paypal income and don't withdraw it. You do need a debit or credit card I think, but not a bank account except to withdraw money?

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Mage
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Re: buying lots of stamps

To post the (really delivered) small items in phase one. Stamps are anonymous.

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Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management

Mage
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But

It was only complicated because MS made it complicated.

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Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

Mage
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Why?

Just why when there is no evidence that these work even in test environments?

What is the motivation? Data can be collected without any autonomous control.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Flying cars?

Show me that we have autonomous planes that don't need pilots and fully automated air traffic control all legalised and working.

That the problem of irresponsible drones is solved.

That we have genuine general AI instead of fake marketing of Expert Systems.

Real autonomous cars on ordinary roads

Mysteriously solved the environmental issue of emission and fuel consumption that makes private planes (of any size for less than 8 people) an elitist toy.

Show me small lightweight aircraft able to handle worse average weather.

The problems are not really technical. But the issues of the driver certification, traffic congestion, environment etc if it's not just to be a elitist toy. There is a noise issue for anything that has short take off/landing never mind VTOL. Been near a small helicopter taking off? Note smaller fans are much noisier inherently than larger ones for the same thrust (c.f. helicopter and harrier)

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PC sales are up across Europe. You read that right. PC sales are up

Mage
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Re: "but Brexit-blown Blighty misses out"

Well, since last June my UK sales have fallen off a cliff. ONE to UK in 2017. In 2017 about half are to North America and half are to France + Germany.

Just anecdotal.

Nervous people don't buy expensive stuff. I wonder what non-contract (sim free) smart phone sales are like in UK last 6 months compared to Jan - May 2016?

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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Mage
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Re: Biggest problem is the name.

Initial learning of programming doesn't need any file i/o or printing.

This could only be useful as an introduction. Other modules would need I/O on a microcontroller with no OS and designing simple schedulers etc, security, database access, networking, and desktop OS file I/O and printing. Javascript is unsuitable for those and Node,js as no place in leaning programming, it's a dubious web application enabling framework that only happens to use javascript.

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Mage
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Re: Is there any correlation between "popularity" and

It's like using BASIC instead of ForTran.

I hope it is a Computer Science course, a programming course teaching programming, not just a computer language course teaching Javascript. If the previous version is merely teaching Java, then it's a failure anyway.

It does have the advantage that you can write stuff on a phone and upload it to website. Here is example of demo on a website intended to be implemented on a PIC micro in assmebler, JAL or C:

Roman Digital Clock top left

Select, right click and "view selection source".

This could be brilliant or rubbish depending on the lecturer and course design.

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Doctor Who-inspired proxy transmogrifies politically sensitive web to avoid gov censorship

Mage
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Alert

Re: Double edged?

Worse, it can be used by State controlled infrastructure or malware installed on a router, to redirect your traffic. It makes Man In The Middle Attacks easier.

Also on the client it aids browser hijacking.

Unless I've totally misunderstood this, it's a totally naive and stupid idea.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Mage
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Several sorts of fail

1: Inherently stupid products

2: Failure due to hype / bad marketing etc (Newton)

3: Failure due to no marketing (some touch phones before iPhone)

4: Technology not quite perfected (Philips N1500 Video cartridge etc)

5: Great idea very badly done (nGage)

6: Inherently too expensive (Fax from 1850s to 1970s)

7: Infrastructure too slow or expensive (Smart Phones from 1998 to 1996)

8: Bad management causing company fail (Osborne Computer, Nokia Phone division)

9: Bad luck?

10: Too late to market (Philips Video 2000)

I'm sure people can think of other reasons.

The reason why some products and services that are mediocre or even nasty actually madly succeed seems to be a combination of luck and marketing. Actually may apply to almost all products and services. It's a fallacy that a "good idea" is route to wealth. Most successes are not due to the "good idea".

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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: NRA

A bit off topic...

In Ireland the NRA is the National Roads Authority.

They don't call themselves the Irish Rifle Association either. Though those initials might involve rifles.

http://www.nrai.ie/news.html

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Mage
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Coat

Smartwater?

a) The sharing of the info is just WRONG. However it happened.

b) "Smartwater" just selling UV ink marking kit? Typically available under £5 in the high street, maybe even Poundland.

c) Weapons all have serial numbers which are MUCH harder to remove than UV ink, and even if removed can probably still be identified.

d) UV marking is pretty useless for anything as it does not stop or deter theft. Most stolen stuff isn't recovered. If it's not a weapon, then an engraved email address or maybe mobile number is more useful, you know, if you leave it on the train, not if it's stolen.

Perimeter security and prevention is HUGELY more valuable. So locked locks is MUCH better than a burglar alarm etc.

So how did Smartwater get the addresses and is their product any earthly use for a weapon?

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Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

Mage
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Re: CAD

Eagle is on Linux and Windows.

Though the Windows version runs on Wine too.

My older windows CAE programs have no replacements and some don't work on Win7 64 bit. They all work on Wine on Linux.

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LinkedIn U-turns on Bluetooth-enabled 'Tinder for marketers'

Mage
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Linkedin Spam

They con new members into "sharing" all their email address books and then spam all the people on that.

So I left it a few years ago. It was originally recommended about 10 years ago by co-workers. It's a mess and I wonder did MS only buy it for the database?

If I installed an App and it did that, I'd remove it. But I can't see the point of Apps for websites. If websites are designed properly they work even on a pre-iPhone phone with browser. Isn't the real purpose of app alternatives to websites to maximise adverts to users and maximise user info gathered inc. location.

I wonder are a lot of apps (never mind websites) breaking EU laws?

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Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Mage
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Devil

Re: iPhones "use until dead"

Unfortunately for iPhones "use until dead", or in practice "use until battery dies" is about 2 years. I have very few of the work ones go much longer than that, and some are dead after 18 months.

Which makes the resale price nuts. If I'm buying a gadget I want it new, or at least 50% cheaper than cheapest new option. Such a high risk buying ANY second hand gadget.

Obviously buyers of S/H iPhones are keen to have Apple specifically, but can't actually afford a new one?

Subsidised or part of Contract phone selling by mobile operators, or their resellers such as Carphone/Currys should be stopped. It's anti-competitive to other HW makers and unfairly raises cost of contract or PAYG for SIM only customers and locks in Customers. It's nasty.

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Mage
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Linux

Re: it will be pistols at dawn!

Surely "Distros at dawn"?

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Mage
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Re: My thoughts on this ...

Yes, I sometimes install that (XFCE) too as a fall back solution. Easier to fix a desktop from a desktop than a console, though I *HAVE* re-installed Mate desktop via console. Entirely my fault it got broken.

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Mage
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what about the users who love Unity?

They could buy a phone able to use a mouse, keyboard and HDMI HD screen. My ancient Sony Ericsson Z1 connects to those and gives an experience like Unity.

I used to use Gnome, but when it went "koolaid"/Mozilla/"Worst OS X/Vista features" I switched to Mate. I also have KDE installed, so if I break the desktop it's easily fixed.

That's what's great about Linux for a laptop, no arrogant GUI lock-in to stupid corporate / web designer fashion.

Unity was always a doomed idea, like Windows 8.

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China successfully launches its first robot space truck

Mage
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Re: "fast-dock tech that will reduce coupling time to just six hours."

1) A big issue is matching vectors exactly.

2) Exact orientation

3) Then with no friction, actually joining vessel to the small station without changing the orbit is a difficult operation.

It's not like DS9 or Babylon 5.

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'We should have done better' – the feeble words of a CEO caught using real hospital IT in infosec product demos

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What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist

Mage
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Actually, Outlook

I thought the ONLY reason to have the insecure Outlook application was MS Server integration with Scheduling/Calendar. Otherwise if you only want email, there are better, safer solutions for over 15 years.

Otherwise why would people buy Exchange Server and an MS OS to run it? I'm baffled that they don't have a fully Exchange/Sharepoint/Outlook client compatible with and syncing to desktop on iOS, Android, etc for years to support Exchange sales and maintain lock in to MS eco-system. Why on earth did they buy Wunderlist at all, unless to do a Fitbit - Pebble and kill it at once. Like Amazon did with Mobibooks.

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Mage
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Facepalm

This is rooted in 15 years+ ago

When I heard that the team leader meetings for XP development used an auditorium I knew the end was near.

Then docx and the Ribbon and "adaptive menus"* showed the plot was lost. Then Vista ditched all the good ideas in favour of direct 3D and Aero.

Windows 8.x? (Stupidity of Phone / Zune GUI for Desktop).

Windows 10. (So many levels of stupid).

It's no surprise. Look how they messed up Skype and confused people by renaming the unrelated pre-existing voice application "Skype for Business".

Or the debacle over ARM vs x86 surface / Windows.

Or wasting all the billions on buying nothing at all from Nokia.

Obviously Management is clueless.

[* What use are menus where the least used things vanish? Menus need to be unchanging and show every option, always, though grey out ones that can't currently be used in the app. This why on XP and later I disabled "hide task icons" and "personlised menus".]

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Online ad scam launders legions of pirates and pervs into 'legit' surfing

Mage
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Pirate

What we suspected

Google doesn't care.

Web advertising is broken because of how it's done with 3rd party sites and scripts instead of a simple banner image and link hosted on the viewed website. By trying to be cleverer than printed or TV ads and track users, they have destroyed both Advertiser's trust and user acceptance of web advertising.

Google, Facebook etc benefit from these frauds as well as the malodorous websites and scammers.

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SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: feel the need to sling multi-million dollar lawsuits

Any less and they don't care and don't stop.

Even criminal fines are often regarded as "cost of business" if not severe and also because the top managers don't suffer unless the consequences seriously upset shareholders.

Senior managers / CEO etc need to be also personally liable for their management.

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Ambient light sensors can steal data, says security researcher

Mage
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What?

WHY oh WHY does a browser share this info to a web site.

A browser should:

1) Be totally sandboxed, so nothing on a web page can infect Phone/Tablet/PC. Web page code unable to read any data other than browser supplied.

2) Only share enough to allow basic rendering, the X by Y pixels of window, physical resolution (i.e. 90 dpi, 133 dpi, retina 300 dpi etc)

3) Only supply browser make and version. Not OS or CPU etc.

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