* Posts by Mage

6451 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Mage
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Devil

Re: The problem is...

The OTHER problem is OTHER people posting YOUR info and photos etc on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.

Or their children.

That should be illegal.

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Mage
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Pintrest

A walled garden copyright violator. You need to sign up to see anything, It's nearly impossible to click on images' original source. It's a parasite.

Wordpress might in theory be able to replace Facebook, or if the info is ONLY for friends/relatives just use email!

Anyone used password protected / subscriber only pages on Wordpress to make parts private to family?

Certainly for a school / business/ charity /broadcaster it's less than $100 a year to have a domain and hosting and setup up your own wordpress copy.

I'm baffled at organisations that ALREADY have a huge IT dept and web sites with user content sections promoting Twitter and Facebook. (BBC, RTE etc)

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

Mage
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Copyright duration

Life of ACTUAL creator (not the company employeer) + 25 years is ample.

50 years is too little if you are 18 and life + 50 years is too much.

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Mage
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Devil

set up a DMCA takedown system

There are another issues with DMCA.

1) I refuse to engage with it because it is USA Law that may be in conflict with International conventions.

2) It is used by nefarious websites to insulate themselves from violated copyright holders.

3) It's awkward to use.

I've seen a site that is scraping every ebook published, though I suspect most of the content is the x% free sample promoted as full book. Any attempt to contact them simply enters a generic DMCA page/site.

No I'm not talking about Google Books, though that is evil as they are putting up entire books (without permission) as if a library, and allowing access to a limited number of pages. Using a bot you could acquire the entire book, much easier than going around many different libraries using the "fair use" of photocopy a portion for study etc.

OCR of the images is trivial.

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Linux homes for Ubuntu Unity orphans: Minty Cinnamon, GNOME or Ubuntu, mate?

Mage
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Mate High DPI

The setting you need to change is rather hidden, but it's there and support for 300dpi is fine.

System -> Control Panel -> Appearance Preferences -> Fonts -> Details

Then change DPI. A bigger number makes EVERYTHING bigger, so even if display is 90 dpi, but your eyes are bad (or screen further away), you can set it to say 200 dpi and everything, not just fonts is larger.

Similarly if your display is "really" 133 dpi and you are happy with your reading glasses, or have the screen closer, you can lie and set it to say 96 dpi, or what ever lets you read an A4 page on 1080 lines comfortably.

LibreOffice has a setting to to use smaller or larger everything, so as a compromise I set desktop to a lie to fit more in, LibreOffice Writer to smaller GUI and then set View to 125% or 133% !

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Spend your paper £5 notes NOW: No longer legal tender after today

Mage
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£5 note issued in 1957 had a strong purchasing power

Such irrelevance.

In 1957 the wages were not very many £5, maybe on average two fivers per week.

"The average weekly wage was £7.50 – adding up to annual earnings of £390 – and, at £2,000, the average house price was just under five times this figure. Today houses are twice as expensive."

House prices are high because Governments stopped building council houses maybe 30 years ago. Mortgages are easier to get and a lower percentage deposit is required. From 1870s to 1930 the problem of "slums" was discussed, but after the Luftwaffe did the slum clearance in the 1940s very many houses were built by Government.

OTH Radio:

A 50" 4K TV in real terms is not much different in price to a decent 1950s radio. Today you can't actually buy a decent radio, unless it's in the car dashboard or built in to a phone.

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Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

Mage
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Crowdsourced coverage

It's self selected and by definition often is in areas with coverage. So what ever it reports the reality is worse.

The "scientific" drive testing can also be hopelessly unrealistic and like operator maps paints a better picture than reality because the samples are not big enough and usually outdoors.

So take the worst data of all three and assume reality is worse. Time of day and day of week is also a major issue.

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Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

Mage
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PDF in a Browser?

Nutty idea anyway. I disable that on any browser, save PDF and use a REAL PDF viewer (that's secure and won't access internet, or cause browser to freeze due to enormous size).

I don't use Edge, but really this bug wouldn't bother me.

Windows: Foxit (Or Ghostview to extract images)

Linux: Xreader

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First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

Mage
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Re: It's the "disappointing" part of the hype cycle

It's like 3D TVs (actually Stereoscopic) and LED TVs (actually LCD), except real prototype 3D displays existed (not just holographic, but tilted spinning ground glass in a tube) and real LED displays exist, yet NONE of these speech interfaces actually use AI. They are Voice to Text and huge databases + algorithm.

Maybe someone will figure out real AI, but this is not it. This is 20 year old tech with a better database and cheaper hardware.

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systemd-free Devuan Linux hits RC2

Mage
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Good news

Choice is good even if you want systemd

It's good if you don't want systemd

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Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

Mage
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Re: Cheapskates

I have here a Lenovo X201 "tablet" laptop. A touch screen is vital for a tablet and pointless on a laptop, unless it converts to a tablet (which the X201 does). However an OS GUI AND ALL ITS APPLICATIONS really needs to be designed for Touch or keyboard / mouse. No-one has ever convincingly done both in the same application and GUI.

The X201 came with Win7 pro. Its owner was disgusted when it upgraded to Win 10. The screen is touch AND a Wacom tablet. So the screen works well for arty stuff, or folded as a tablet for a specialist touch application.

It's of zero advantage on Win7 or Win10 for web, email, wordprocessing, spreadsheet, etc as a laptop. Most applications are unusable with it as a tablet.

So I can't see the point of a touch screen laptop unless it has screen folding into a tablet and has two GUIs and two sets of applications for common stuff.

Oh the X201 works much better with Linux Mint. WiFi, Touch, ethernet, screen rotation, Wacom all just worked.

I have a tablet, hardly use it as the Android applications are too limited. I either use my Sony Z1 phone or my newer Lenovo E460 laptop. Which is half the price (or less) of the flagship MS touch laptop or any decent Apple laptop. It's not a budget E460 either, but full RAM, i5 and AMD GPU. Linux Mint + Mate + Redmond + Wine, and used once "XP on OpenBox VM"

Trying to figure a use for the X201, to justify keeping it!

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Mage
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Linux

Win32

I upgraded from an old XP 32bit laptop to a new shiny 64bit Laptop with Win10. I paid extra for Win7, because Win10 was horrible GUI and wouldn't run most of my existing windows only software.

Win7 wouldn't either:

1) It didn't want to even install ANY 16 bit windows software.

2) Some Win32 wouldn't install.

3) The majority of the Win32 SW (Windows only and often no new version) wouldn't work at all after install. Both CAE and games.

So I installed Linux Mint Mate Desktop Redmond theme as Dual boot and mounted the NTFS partition as <usernname>_files in "home". Most of the old stuff that wouldn't work on Win7 or Win10 works on Wine, latest versions Digiguide and Notepad++ work on Wine. All the newer stuff had Linux native versions (Eagle, Calibre, Putty, FileZilla, LibreOffice, various planetarium SW, Firefox. Thunderbird, Inkscape, The Gimp) or equivalent functionality software. Fortunately I no longer need to run Sage. I used PSP7 rather than Photoshop, but had been learning The Gimp on Windows anyway.

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Mage
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Re: Hmm ChromeOS

No one is "locked" into chrome. There are however programs important to institutions and business that have been used 20 years+ and are sadly still only on Windows. Not as many though.

There are plenty of Windows users that have no choice. Fortunately I'm no longer in that demographic. Stopped using Windows in December 2016. Windows 7 spending too long on updates and Windows 10 is like a bad version of Lisa or early monochrome all in one 68000 Mac, Gem and Windows 2.0 or Windows 286. WFWG 3.11 with win32s was better than Win10 garbage.

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Amazon tweaks so-called 'assisted suicide' publishing contracts to ink EU deal

Mage
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Re: 10% of Amazon's total annual turnover

Yes, supposedly due to buying companies and expanding AWS (daa centres, so called cloud) and never making profit, how come Jeff Bezos is heading to being a trilionaire?

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Mage
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Amazon Bad Practices

They are BOTH a publisher and Retailer.

They push publishing contracts that give them Retail Exclusivity. That is plain wrong. It would be like WH Smith owning Penguin and Penguin books only in WH Smith shops.

Also they should offer any DRM content in Adobe ePub as as well as Kindle format, though I think DRM is pointless and ought to be illegal.

I'm an author. I make sure my titles are DRM free and available on all electronic platforms as well as paper, though I'm a bit behind on getting some titles on some platforms.

Amazon has the potential to destroy all other publishers, wipe out all non-Kindle eInk eReaders etc.

Why were they allowed to buy Mobi, Goodreads, IMDB, CreateSpace (two companies merged), ABE books, Book Depositary, Audible and others?

The list of companies Amazon has acquired since 1998 and their marketing practices are frightening.

KDP Select robs Authors of other outlets.

Amazon Prime is a pernicious subscription system.

Why can't you use a Kindle eReader without an Account? Why does changing account erase all the non-DRM (and also public domain) books on a Kindle? Kobo ereader has this obnoxious property too, except you can make an account without payment feature.

Where do I lock my Kindle from purchases so I can lend it (even when it has NO bought books) without people buying books on my account?

Why does Parental control hide everything not purchased from Amazon?

Why does the Android Kindle App report to Amazon (even if not being used, so I use Aldiko ereader and use Calibre to convert to ePub).

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Mage
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Re: Non-drug distractions

Allegedly Facebook works as a contraceptive too.

I can't verify this, due to not being a fertile female or a Facebook user.

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Mage
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Re: Possible reasons

Student drinkers?

At current cost of education and drinks, I'd bet few students can afford an alcoholic haze.

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Apple leaks new thinner, lighter iPad ... revenues

Mage
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Alert

Other Products group ... boosted revenues by 31 per cent

Other Products group, a category that includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, boosted revenues by 31 per cent to $2.87bn year-over-year.

What else is in that? It can't be the Apple Watch selling well, and the mis-named Apple TV is just a streaming box. A Roku or Kodi based something is better?

So they are nearly flat on iPhone now.

iPad is dying (if you really want a tablet, there is as good at 1/2 price with easier access to your own files).

I guess Mac sales are up because Win 10 is so awful.

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Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Oh dear

Pity that MS have forgotten GUI design principals and it's not more like Win98 / XP / Win7 (without the Aero garbage, active desktop etc).

Explorer is terrible.

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Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

Mage
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Re: Linux sucks

True maybe in 1999.

Not true for the last 10 years.

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Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Mage
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Devil

reason Chromebooks are doing well

Is Google propaganda, google apps, etc.

MS can't compete any more than Bing does with Google Search.

But MS Cloud Books OR Google's infrastructure via Chrome books are both evil.

You can "re-image" Linux Mint easily.

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SpaceX spin-out plans to put virtual machines in orbit

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

This is nuts

See title

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Pen-tester gets past Microsoft VB macro barriers

Mage
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Linux

Solution is controversial but saves money

Migrate away from Exchange to open source on a Linux server. If you aren't using Exchange, why use Outlook at all?

Migrate away from Outlook. It's always been insecure with daft default settings. Use an Open source email client that supports POP and IMAP etc. Disable remote content by default. Learn about incoming attachments, phishing etc.

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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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Coat

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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