* Posts by Mage

6846 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Vatican sets up dedicated exorcism training course

Mage
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Re: To paraquote..

He's dead. Or at least supposed to be.

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Mage
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Re: so the House of Commons is in need of an exorcist then...

I wondered why they all seemed mad. I assumed it was mercury or lead in the disintegrating Commons chamber.

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Mage
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Re: Professional not required

Actually they have specially trained priests and check first it's not mental or physical illness. I think DIY isn't encouraged by any major religion?

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Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins

Mage
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Re: Light

No, not excess of light. Lack of dark. The sun is a dark sucker.

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Mage
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Alien

What’s it expanding into?

It's very hard to grasp. It's just expanding. But not expanding INTO anything. Not even vacuum.

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IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

Mage
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Dabbs

Top form today!

Thanks.

BBC Transmitter engineers are gone. Such a shame. Most of the jobs or entire companies I've worked for are gone. In one case they closed entire R&D dept.

I bought my first copy of Byte and of PCW before there was an IBM PC.

PCW - 1978. No idea when I first got a copy.

IBM PC in N.I. UK = 1981

Byte launched in 1975. I first bought a copy of a UK edition of Byte, that had the Apple II on the cover. Was it 1978, 1978 or 1980?

I do still have a computer magazine with launch of Archimedes and a later one of UNIX launch for it. Perhaps Acorn User?

I'm about to dump my 1993 to 2004 collection of MS CDs and DVDs of Select/MSDN/TechNet. I dumped Microsoft December 2016, though I still have 2 x Win 10, 1 x Win 7, 2 x XP (games & Satellite TV) and 1 x Win2K (test gear controller) with multiboot to DOS /Win3.11/Win98 (for radio programming).

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Mage
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Re: dystopia: Jeff Bezos

Curiously so to the three wise men at Alphabet, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and a few others.

Will it be like the Dune "Great Houses"? I hope they ban atomics first.

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Mage
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Re: Back in the day

Some TVs & Radios had remotes in 1950s. One 1930s USA Radio had a WIRELESS connected dial to select a preset radio station.

I'm pretty common and I had email (300 baud or 1200/75 depending on if Prestel, BBS or X25 PAD) from 1981 on CP/M. By 1987 using an account to get access to Telex, Fax and Bitnet email from a PCW8256 with 300 baud modem. Fax replies were posted to me by physical mail.

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Mage
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Re: Rotary dials

You can even buy the parts and breadboard a rotatary to DTMF. A pi or old laptop with serial port (sense a handshake line) can do it. Even easier if old laptop has a built in modem (AT D command).

Some exchanges and ATAs do still support pulse dialing.

Two analogue phones (any kind) and a 6V battery all in series makes an intercom. We used top & bottom wire of a fence when we were kids.

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Mage
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Re: Round goes the wheel...

Nobility mostly went bust when Industrialisation and imported food & cloth killed ability of their Estates to make money from agriculture (mostly wool, which is why eradicating wolves was seen as so important and the "woolsack" in Parliament).

Managers, Politicians, senior civil service...

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Mage
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Re: holographic storage

Unlike magnetic bubble memory which actually made it into some military products. I wonder what archive life is and how small/capacity and fast it can be? Flash isn't archival, but certainly seriously beats bubble memory on speed and capacity.

I expect commercial fusion power stations before we see consumer holographic storage or proper performance VR with focus & movement tracking of eyes as well as head.

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Mage
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Windows

Re: Archive

And re-writeable CDs / DVDs last less time than a passed around C15 tape for a spectrum.

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Intel's announced PCs packing 5G, and that's just plain wrong

Mage
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Re: one bill that allows me to access X GB of data from Y devices

Only with broadband operators selling mobile packages. No way at all can 5G or any mobile ever compete with speed, capacity, cap etc of real broadband. Fantasy.

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Mage
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Re: Consumer use in the UK?

It's handier to have a "bar of soap" Mobile to WiFi hotspot. Can sit on windowsill for FAR better mobile signal, allow more than one device / user. Often has far better & easier to configure firewall than tablet / laptop.

Built in mobile is near dead except on phones, maybe also a thing on Amazon Kindle eReaders for people with no wifi / laptop etc.

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Mage
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re: about 25% of the corporate laptop market

Really? Where?

Also notoriously bad and over priced extra compared with a USB stick.

Also the entire idea of a so called "5G" modem / radio for consumer space is laughable.

~

Perhaps the master plan is to have revenue for mobile operators by an in Office femto cell for so called 5G (i.e. on a band higher than 2.1GHz and thus useless outside) instead of WiFi.

Unless these properly work with GSM, 3G and LTE worldwide, properly, it's stupid. I've a Lenovo with Intel's ill fated Wimax as well as WiFi and 3G in it. Only the WiFi is any use.

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Mobile network O2 UK leaps into 5G test bed with Greenwich trial

Mage
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Re: O2 Arena 5G

Ha Ha.

It's just chargeable WiFi.

You'd be lucky to have 20 users with actual decent frame rate & quality physics.

The 5G isn't really about new bands or higher speed or more capacity. We reached the Shannon limit more than 12 years ago. The 4G is more efficient than 3G with multiple users. With one user on the same signal level and channel size there is almost ZERO difference between 3G, 4G and so called 5G.

The 5G is supposed to be about integration. The 4G can only do VOIP for voice, 3G and 2G have native codecs, so ironically per MHz of channel they are more efficient than 4G for voice. The 2G is more robust than 3G because 3G cell varies in size with number of users (largely cured in 4G). The 4G is mainly faster because the channels can be 20MHz instead of 5MHz (thus 4x faster for one user with perfect signal).

All these 5G Press Releases are just um, PR :)

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Samsung left off Google's new official Androids-for-biz list

Mage
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Re: they don't slurp data for advertising

Is there any independent audit of what Google stores about users of Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, Android TV, any web site with any Google hosted content (apis, fonts, analytics, adverts), Google services (maps, translate, plus, groups, YouTube)?

Targeted advert usage is only part of the story.

Google has too much power & dominance.

Amazon, Apple, MS, Adobe, Facebook etc all need investigated too over data acquisition and retention. Also what is spent on lobbying and front groups, takeovers etc.

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Mage
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Re: "The Register notes ... that Nokia's kit is made in China."

Apple is certainly mostly Chinese made.

Android & Android TV is worse spyware than non-Android anything, though MS trying to catch up.

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RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

Mage
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Familar pattern

Big company buys in innovative thingy.

Development stutters. Sometimes later versions worse or unchanged (Paint Shop Pro, Visio, Skype, Pebble, Mobi-reader, Glen-Dimplex buying Roberts etc, Harvard then Argos with Bush/Murphy, Flarion bought by Qualcomm)

Big company loses interest and kills it.

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Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!

Mage
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Replacing their accent

No, totally creepy. Talk to some grandparents. Perhaps you might be one eventually.

Actual AI that's actually useful and not exploitive and isn't fragile (because none of it is intelligent, it's a narrow mimic) would give AI acceptance.

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Mage
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Pirate

It's an old idea.

I mentioned Program for a Puppet before on this site.

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Mage
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Re: I never said that

Backgound mains hum has already been used to authenticate when and where recordings were made. No doubt if you have the resources to record that nationwide (worldwide?) 24x7 you can fake that signature later.

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Mage
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Facepalm

The Problem

Bosses of Tech companies reading SF as tech blueprints. Why? Their lack of empathy, social responsibility and ethics/morality makes them miss the point of the stories, which isn't to sell shiny or glorify tech for sake of it, but to make social and political comments. It's only in Hollywood (and toy franchises) that it's about the gadgets.

HHGTG was a parody, not a blueprint either!

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Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Mage
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Re: Going from 32 to 64 bit was so simple nobody really noticed it happened

Some older 32 bit apps (esp VB6) will work on Win7 & Win 10 32biit, but impossible on 64bit Win7 & Win 10. Also why removal of WOW16 and NTVDM? Dosbox works.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Mage
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Re: t isn't a consumer ready Windows replacement.

I'd argue that for people used to windows XP, Vista and 7, that Windows 10 isn't consumer ready unless it's only for web browsing and store apps, in which case Android is better / cheaper.

Win 10 for traditional applications:

"It's complicated, confusing, and difficult."

I'm finding supporting users on Linux Mint + Mate desktop, properly setup, is less bothersome than Win7. Mostly I don't see them now.

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Mage
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Re: Oh, come on

MS on their own website says making copies of their software is legal. Only distributing "pirate" keys is infringement.

Why did the prosecution succeed if the disks have no keys and rely on key on PCs?

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iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Mage
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Re: Presumably Android would have to be tweaked...

Not just the rather stupid notch, but the 1930s to 1950s rounded corners.

Or can they be re-manufactured to be proper rectangles?

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Qualcomm opens maw, prepares to swallow Dutch chipmaker NXP

Mage
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Pirate

Re: Reduced Diversity ???

Likely they will asset strip. Qualcomm has bought many companies basically just for IP and killed the products. Flarion for their 4G portfolio.

It will be the end of most NXP chips, though many older ones now have Chinese sources.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Very sad

It's a shame to see what was a diverse innovator (was part of Philips) and far beyond stuff Qualcomm interested being taken by someone only interested in Mobile & IoT IP. Qualcomm are almost a patent troll. They are more interested in royalties than making chips.

Shame to see the last big European chipmaker go.

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And lo! Crypto-coins came unto the holy land. And the wise decreed they must all be taxed

Mage
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Coat

What is it?

Something can't be a currency AND an investment.

At best cryptocurrencies are investments. At worst they are ponzi schemes. The Blockchain isn't scaleable. The cost of creating extra coins is too high and dependant on electricity & computer costs, not economic indicators. The time and cost per transaction is too high.

So not a currency. It's a possession, even though it's not physical.

Seems like a reasonable decision.

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KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Mage
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Pirate

switching to a general courier

Yes, sounds like a stupid bean counter decision. I think people that buy into Franchises are being conned. They supply capital, premises, staff and basically are an employee in all but name. Responsible for everything yet only able to use the Franchise supplies. KFC isn't a fast food chain, it's a marketing company, so inevitable they will end up using a cheaper inappropriate supplier for the outsourced distribution.

Franchises are nasty and exploitive.

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Mage
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Re: smart roads that tell the car what it needs to do

Why isn't there more progress on automating railways? Perhaps Google and others are more interested in personal information, trip data than actual autonomous cars. Look at the crapware called Android TV, you can't tune the set without accepting Google's T&C. Or the fact that Uber is more interested in user data than making profit from actual trips.

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Apple to devs: Code for the iPhone X or nothing from April onwards

Mage
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Re: Have Apple learnt nothing from the Microsoft's Metro/Tile Interface forced rollout?

Win 10 and Office Ribbon.

Porcine Cosmetics, they can't properly fix it unless they go back to 2003.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: unless you drop the front camera

No, just make the bezel a little bigger. Use space for some REAL buttons!

The no buttons on front idea is stupid.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

Idiotic

It's possible the stupid screen (curved corners and notch, setting back screens by 60 years) is staying on a newer model. Maybe an X.2, Perhaps like OS 10 (=X) launched in 2001, Apple will stop incrementing the number in front of the dot.

Will they return to a proper screen, no notch or curved corners for model X.11, or will they bring out a Cardassian shaped screen? Or a round one in a power compact form factor case.

They seem to be sacrificing function for form.

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Icahn't get right Xerox Fuji merger spoils, cries activist investor Carl

Mage
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Pirate

Activist investor Carl Icahn

Has he EVER bought shares at IPO etc. Isn't he simply a speculator and sometimes an asset stripper.

Of what benefit to the actual business is Icahn's purchase of already existing shares?

Of course he's unhappy, Xerox and Fuji would be mad to structure things purely to enrich speculators.

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Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

Mage
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list of "things I don't get"

Me too.

I'd want it disconnected if I was in a room with one.

The loads of microphones make some sense. The array of tweeters is only useful if it's HiFi audio. It's not as there isn't a big enough box or a big enough speaker.

It's nearly impossible to beat a decent sized chipboard or MDF box with a 6" driver. You might want more than one tweeter to spread the higher frequencies only if it's close. The array of tweeters and microphones suggests it's meant to live on a coffee table surrounded by the faithful users, unlike a HiFi speaker.

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Getty load of this: Google to kill off 'View image' button in search

Mage
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Re: Bad bargaining

"1) This kind of strongarm tactics is what would see Google in court fairly quickly for abuse of dominant position."

Instead, maybe Getty images will have higher rank than others. Getty sells access to images that are actually long out of copyright. I bet it gets harder to find them.

Google is getting harder to use as a real search engine because their real business is selling adverts.

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Talk down to Siri like she's a mere servant – your safety demands it

Mage
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Re: automatic facial recognition goes live in the UK

They've had it for ages and it should need a warrant. Their use against the public is an invasion of privacy and might even be illegal.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Program for a Puppet

Program for a Puppet by Roland Perry

I still have my copy, from the year it was published.

I'm thinking some people had this before Adobe.

Things such as Echo, Siri etc ought to need to be certified and it should be illegal to store the users voice as "cloudy" databases are rarely always secure. TVs and Toys etc sending voice outside the user's premises should be illegal.

Years ago we had voice control and recognition without "sending it to the cloud". We have gone backwards because Google, MS, Apple, Amazon wants to monetize our private lives.

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Mage
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This is nonsense

Even if there are only 300 neurons, we don't quite know how they work or how it makes a nervous system / brain.

I'm confident that this is not a simulation of a nematode's 300 neurons in any meaningful sense.

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You can resurrect any deleted GitHub account name. And this is why we have trust issues

Mage
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Big Brother

Names

Only the original owner(s) should be able to reactivate an account name or a lapsed domain name or email account etc.

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Vodafone boasts 200Mbps with 4G mini mast in Cornish trial

Mage
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Re: Planning Consent

You CAN use a streetlight or electricity pole. Those also have handy electricity.

Nothing to see here (nothing new) and unless only for a few days it has no effect on planning laws. They found years ago a telescopic mast on a van or trailer can only be temporary.

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Mage
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Re: By the look of things

So the 200Mbps is if no-one else is using either base station and the signal is perfect. Probably also if more than one channel is bonded. You can't break the laws of physics.

Well, it's been done with MMDS and Sky Dishes, with a USB stick instead of the LNB.

So yes, it's a boast. A way of filling a blackspot, maybe for marshals at a cycle race / car rally.

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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Mage
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Flame

Re: my parents were in the film business

The insulting anti-piracy messages on bought video disks. Most Video Piracy is done in cinemas or at the studios or of pre-release distribution. Not by home users.

Piracy of live Pay TV is mostly industrial pirates. They used to use special adapted cards and send the keys over the internet. Now an HD camera, decent 4K TV and streaming. YET we are all paying extra for HDCP in every player, setbox and TV set that uses HDMI. DRM is pointless stupidity that only hurts the home consumer and in the long term contravenes copyright law.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: steel needles - but also ones made from thorns

Steel needles are single play. You can still buy packs of 100. I have a 1935 radiogram with "magnetic" pickup that uses steel needles. USA autochangers in 1930s used sapphire (50 to 200 hrs) or even diamond (500 to 1000 hrs). Some UK models in early 1950s still used steel needles.

The moving iron in my 1934 pickup isn't the needle. A bamboo cocktail stick works well.

Early "78s" may have been deliberately recorded at 82rpm (more quality) or as slow as 65 rpm (longer play). Cinema used 33 1/3rd rpm and up to 16" disks playing from the centre.

From the 1930s the 78s did come in 7" (kids) and 12" (classical) sizes. The modern microgroove 45rpm and 33 1/3 rpm came out in 1948/1949 approximately. Vinyl did exist before WWII.

~

The modern "retro" players in the high street today do have a 78 setting, but it's useless as the stylus is unsuited, it's for microgroove only. Real multi-type players either had a flip over stylus or dual flip over cartridge. The non-microgroove (all 78s) needs a longer fatter different shape of stylus. The 16rpm was microgroove 12" for language learning or recorded lectures as the frequency response is much poorer.

CD is superior to LP. More dynamic range, more frequency response after 1st playing, less distortion, no surface / needle noise, no rumble. DAB & DTT & sat audio are inferior to CD, Vinyl or FM with a good signal due to compression artefacts (distortion), which is ironically worse for people with impaired hearing, maybe because they don't match the acoustic lossy model. MP3 at 256K isn't bad and at 320K good enough for most material. Sadly most digital gadgets only support MP3, not Flac. With 256G SD cards and USB sticks the storage isn't an issue.

Low audio bitrates on Digital Radio & TV is simple greed to reduce costs.

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Mage
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Pirate

CDs ... bloody expensive

Still are. €6.99 for DVD and €14.99 for CD, possibly badly remastered from vinyl or earlier release to make it have more bass and "louder". Idiots.

Record Executives: Killing Music, underpaying Artists.

I'm only interested in buying music as pressed CDs. I then rip and archive the physical disk. HDDs die. Backups mysteriously get lost or fail. Cloud services fail ("plays for sure" Groove*). Apple iTunes since the start seems determined to destroy the album concept. Also expensive for buying an entire album compared to a physical movie on DVD or BuRay.

[* Oct 2, 2017 - Microsoft rebranded Xbox Music to Groove Music two years ago, in a bid to make its music streaming service more relevant to consumers. Now being "closed" as MS partners with Spotify. Why can't I remove Groove from Win10?]

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Mage
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Re: "home-pirating CDs never became a big thing"

CDRs and Home burned (not pressed) DVDs are not archival. There were goldish ones used for PhotoCd that keep better.

I've some 1/4" tapes that are nearly 60 years old. Life depends on thinness (print through on very thin tape wound tight), original composition (there was an era of bad binder. Fortunately unlike film, I think tape was always Mylar = Polyester?). Also humidity and temperature. I watched a 20 year old VHS never played recording from analogue satellite last week. I'd forgotten about that "time shifted" recording of a film on late on TNT. Fine on the 43" 4K TV once all the stupid video enhancement was turned off, though its a late model S-VHS hardly used as we already had a DVD player then.

Home made CDs and DVDs may erase in days if left upside down on a windowsill. The commercial ones are pressed dots (the groove is pressed even on dye based home burning), so corroded single layer pressed discs can in theory be "re-silvered".

Backup tapes are a problem as the mechanisms were unreliable and so many formats. Unless you verified, you might have no backup due head clogged or mechanism failure. Good luck finding a drive to restore them on and an interface for the drive (floppy, propriety ISA card, parallel port, IDE, SCSI etc).

Audio tapes hard to play:

There are RCA 1/4 cassettes (late 1950s)

Sony Elcassette (1/4" HiFi)

Hotel / restaurant Musazk endless loop 1/4". About A4 / letter sized.

DCC, the digital format on 1/8" tapes. Often the machines could play real analogue compact cassettes. The 8mm video camcorders that can take analogue or digital and transfer via firewire were far more popular, still some on eBay and far better even for external composite PAL to digital (if you can install a Firewire interface) than any of the cheap USB video adaptors, most of which only really manage NTSC resolution (though poorly).

You can still find 8 track players esp. in USA. The Compact Cassette for cars was already established in UK/Europe, so rare here. The cartridges tend to need repair. Reel to Reel decks still available S/H.

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As GDPR draws close, ICANN suggests 12 conflicting ways to cure domain privacy pains

Mage
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Pirate

Re: ITU

I explain the history of the ITU, how post, telegraph, phones, radio frequencies allocated, satellites etc.

Then I explain domains and IP addresses control and Internet. People go "Wut!". The UN and ITU maybe crap, but having a mix of USA Corporate & US Government control & management is far far worse.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Simple solution

Don't publish WhoIs AT ALL.

If someone needs to know they should need to get a warrant.

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