* Posts by Mage

7561 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Samsung outs Ivy Bridge notebooks

Mage Silver badge

a 17.3in, 1600 x 900

I want a 15" 1600 x 1200 or better. Which is what I have. But I want a new one.

What are these for? Coffee table or Starbucks table video watching for 2 or 3 people?

15" 1920 x 1440 4:3 would be excellent for documents. I don't mind black bars top & bottom if I do happen to watch video on it.

Or even a laptop with a rotatable to portrait mode 4:3 screen 15" 1920 x 1440 Why have we gone back to scrolling? Books invented about 2000 years ago. That's what "codex" means. More efficient than scrolling.

Cloud data fiasco forces bosses to break out the whiteboards

Mage Silver badge

ha ha

Clouds ...

For copies of your info, a Publishing method. Like Newspapers, TV, Websites.

For actual work be in control of your own data^H^H^Hestiny

Cisco hits the roof in Olympics marketing dash

Mage Silver badge


Do Cisco believe this guff or did an Agency write Fry's script?

Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?

Mage Silver badge

There is a mistake in the article

Re: Copyright

"Defeat could potentially allow an extension of copyright into previously undisputed areas, such as programming languages and APIs."

In reality these have ALWAYS been copyright, it's just that the originators have either not put any usage terms or placed the work in the Public domain.

Writing up a Computer language specification or API is no different to creating any other new written work.

Actually Zilog used different mnemonics for the common instructions of Z80 with 8080 and 8085 because indeed the 8080 & 8085 mnemonics are (c) Intel.

The reason for whole existence of BSD, GNU (before Linus wrote his Kernel) was in fact a copyright law war between Bell Labs (AT&T) and the Universities over UNIX ownership. Obviously Google has tried to sidestep Java ownership in a more clackhanded manner than GNU and BSD vs AT&T/Bell Labs.

GNU = Gnu is Not Unix

Mines the one with the Z80 handbook in the pocket

Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

Mage Silver badge

MS OS is grossly overpriced in Retail

but what is the OEM price that they have to do this stupidity?

What about Blu Ray disk (BD) video playback?

What about Media Center [sic] MPEG2 for DTT & Satellite and MPEG4 H.264] for DTT USB sticks* and Satellite cards?

[* Some countries and UK after October 2012 use MPEG4 for SD not just HD]

This seems like shooting their toes off at the knee. A gift to OS 10 and Linux.

Samsung shows 'designed for humans' handset

Mage Silver badge

I hope, I really do

That it will open the pod bay doors for me

O2 drops Joggler family tablet

Mage Silver badge

Re: Barstewards

Erm.. the stuff they are replacing relies on their services and simply won't work at all soon.

What they are doing sounds reasonable.

Standing NEXT to an HTML coder is like standing NEXT TO GOD

Mage Silver badge

My Eyes!


White Space trial: First Cambridge, then... THE WORLD

Mage Silver badge

The description is erroneous

There is no white space.

Rolled out Nationally this WILL cause problems but people will not know who to complain to or what about.

Coupled with the stupidity of Ofcom handing Interference complaints to BBC to process this is a disaster.

Apple sued for every touchscreen device by Flatworld prof

Mage Silver badge


The company I worked for in 1989 had documented touch screen gesture editing & control probably in 1986..

Xerox in 1970s worked on this too!

Amazon Kindle Touch touches down early

Mage Silver badge

Need bigger

my old Tech books and datasheets are not usable on regular size Kindle. I tried.

So need to save up for the bigger one,

Irish national telco gets 100 days to escape €4bn debt hell

Mage Silver badge

what did Eircom do with the borrowed money

Paid it to the Shareholders. Bought Meteor (mobile) because the previous asset strippers had sold Eircell (mobile) and trousered the cash.

Any small network improvements since privatisation have been paid for out of income,

Mage Silver badge

Re: Ireland must have a fantastic system

Indeed HALF the Debt would give everyone in Ireland Fibre to the home.

Thus there is no point in "rescuing it" in sense of putting ANY outside money in. The Creditors (bond holders etc) were stupid enough to assist in the theft of assets and building the mountain of Debt. It's their problem.

Ireland needs to do a new system from scratch in parallel. You can't even pull out the copper and put in fibre as most of the ducts are wrong kind of pipe and the cable insulation "welds" to it.

I blame Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Charlie Haughty as wel as of course the criminals that legged it with the loot.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Ireland must have a fantastic system

Not a cent of the Debt was invested. All that debt has gone into the pockets of "owners". They can't be called investors as the spending on capital equipment has been negligible.

Mage Silver badge

Financial Regulation

Leveraged Buyouts should be illegal for ANYTHING.

Asset stripping should need permission of the regulator.

Lifeboats? Hah. There is over 5 Billion in the pockets of former owners and asset strippers. The mystery is why STT bought it. (180Million). Presumably they thought they could seriously "hair cut" the bond holders as they did previously with buying Global Crossing in Ireland.

It's so bad in Ireland that BT practically gave Vodafone their Irish Retail Customer base. My 8Mbps fixed wireless is batter than 66% of Irish Broadband. If UPC wasn't running Cabel BB, my 8Mbps fixed wireless would be better than 95%.

Highest line rental in the World...

82 % had phone lines before privatisation

heading for 60% and 1/2 of those are entirely paid for by Social Welfare (people that don't realise that the Mobile is covered by scheme).

Mobile is horrendously more expensive to run than fixed line, yet a modest phone user can save 50% to 75% by ditching fixed line and only having mobile because of the €26 a month line Rental. Sky is cheaper!

Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Mage Silver badge

Computer languages and software interfaces may fall under copyright protection

No, not may,

They do. Everything created has copyright unless you put it in the public domain.

Nordic region, Ireland adopt new 'connected telly' standard

Mage Silver badge

Re: At least MHEG works

Ireland uses the UK Profile of MHEG5 for Saorview. No MHP. It does work too, on RTE1 & RTE2 and used to do screens on RTEjr <->RTE1+ timeshare.

ALL TVs with CI+ in all of Europe already do MHEG5

Saorview doesn't yet include MHEG-IC or HbbTV

The "biggest" interactive potential is "quizzes". But these only exist to get folk to use the premium number and raise cash. So unless there is a transparent micropayment, then HbbTV is a pointless "walled garden" as TVs and BluRay players add regular Internet Browsers.

Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Mage Silver badge

Re: Tablet

The last time I was able to use PC parallel port and Serial Port for arbitrary I/O with ACCURATE timing was Modula-2 on a 286 or 386 booted in DOS (The M2 Program didn't use BIOS, but direct HW I/O for everything except file system and its own co-routine based Multitasking).

The PC parallel port (and newer PCs don't have Parallel or Serial) isn't useful on Windows or Linux unless you write a specific device driver.

Even then you need a real time version of Linux kernel to have accurate timing even at 1KHz i/o. Ordinary Linux distros and also the x86 are not predictable in timing.

Mage Silver badge


A cheap Android tablet is about £70

But the problem with a Tablet or Laptop is controlling anything, Cheap USB I/O adaptors cost more than a Raspberry Pi and are REALLY slow... Maybe 100Hz sampling or Polling.

If the GPIO is sensibly available and able to do "bit bang" serial (not RS232, but arbitrary protocols and bits per i/o) in SW at 1kHz min (40KHz+ is better) then it's a winner. At the minute it's easier to do that on PIC 18F in JAL (with optional USB to PC) or Ardunio, but pretty much impossible on PC or Tablet on any OS such as Linux, Windows, OSX/

So, yes the GPIO, SDI, I2C etc support is the important bit. It's not just about programming. Plenty of routes to learn programming (Though your kids are better off doing NO ICT or Programming at School and concentrating on Physics, English, Maths, Chemistry and learning ICT & Programming off the Internet at home. No one has ever since 1980 and start of Computers in Schools properly trained the Teachers).

Mines the one with the I2C spec and GPIO register maps in the pocket.

Soup up your home network

Mage Silver badge

For many – and despite the inevitable outrage from radio hams –

" the best way to extend the reach of your network is to use powerline networking, "

You showing your ignorance. It's absolutely ALL users of affected spectrum, not just "Hams". It's only going to get worse too.

A really uninformed statement!


There are 13 channels, but even in Europe many gadgets will only use 11, also faster speeds use up about 1/3rd of the spectrum allowing only three base stations nearby. The highest speed devices use the entire 5.8 or 2.4GHz bands.

Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Mage Silver badge

Plan B from Mars

Or "So long, thanks for all the fish".

I don't believe there is a plan B. Nokia has as bright a future as Novell, SCO, Commodore, Kodak and Polariod

Mage Silver badge

Re: Analysts! Analysts! Analysts!

Nokia messed up around 2001 or 2002. They long ago passed the event horizon.

Demise of Crystal, destroying Trolltech/Qtopia, Maemo and Meego shows that.

Even if they had Early Adopted Android they would be on a nosedive today.

Bacteria isolated for four million years beat newest antibiotic

Mage Silver badge

We need Phages, not Antibiotics


What could go wrong... ?

Death Star dinosaur aliens could rule galaxy

Mage Silver badge

Why somewhere else?

Why are some parts of science always looking for ET source for original Organic compounds? They had to start somewhere, so surely the most likely explanation is that the ones we have arose (by whatever mechanism) here. They seem to be anxious to have a "creation myth".

Also creatures don't "spring forth" from DNA. Unless you are one of those tiny creatures in the ocean or a Bacteria then Sex between Adults is required. Resulting in eggs or live birthed young.

So both papers seem as likely as Scientology.

If you think life "evolved" rather than "special creation", why not evolved here from scratch. Also if "life" can do it here, then probably "life" arises EVERYWHERE the conditions are suitable, which is likely not limited to our Terran environment. Or if they claim it came on an Meteor where did it start, or was it always somewhere since the Big Bang (Turtles all the way down).

Lets have some logic.

WD pushes out super-slim shock-resistant Ultrabook drive

Mage Silver badge

Speed depends on what is happening

Spin Speed (RPM) 7200 RPM

Average latency 4.17ms

Random read seek time 11ms

I/O data transfer rate 300MB/s

Obviously if you are "recording" HD video and randomly opening documents.... 300MB/s is a peak.

Android spanking iOS in world's BIGGEST mobile market

Mage Silver badge

Stylus vs Touch

"The iPhone is a beautiful product that revolutionised a whole industry."

No, it didn't. It's nicely done, but it used commodity parts apart from the OS and case. The change was coming anyway. I evaluated several prototype (easy to use) touch screen phones that ran Linux before iOS or Android appeared.

The earlier PDA Qtopia was optimised for stylus and resistive screen (win95 style WIMP) the later "Phone Edition" Qtopia was optimised for finger and capacitive screen use without stylus.

The reason for PDA and later phone stylus input on Resistive screen was the "holy grail" of handwriting recognition and sketches / annotation. Once the emphasis was on Browsing and mostly information consumption rather than creation using finger input and capacitive screens (both nearly 30 years old too) was more logical.

The ideal would of course be a combo screen that can do either stylus handwriting & sketches and finger gestures. Gesture based input is pre-1988 as I worked on a Mono-touch screen project then and the boss already had a list of gestures and what they should do (I think "filched" from Xerox, which before the mouse based interface was adopted had dabbled in "pen" based gesture computing.)

iPhone was successful marketing with a very slick gui. Nothing original. No special HW either. If there was any justice and honesty and proper evaluation of Prior Art the USPO would have only awarded patents to pre-iPhone companies and only for the GSM, CDMA, 3G aspects. Everything else in all mobile phones is prior art or just "style". No SW /GUI feature should get patents ever.

Windows XP support ends two years from now

Mage Silver badge

No Problem

In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP.

A tablet will be no problem. A suitable 1600 x1200 or better laptop will be harder to source than a decent OS.

They certainly don't need to run the same GUI or OS. You listening Mark Shuttleworth and Steve Balmer?

The iPad 3 would make me so horny...

Mage Silver badge

Re: overpriced?

ALL decent tablets are over priced. Unless they start including a clip on keyboard, more storage and standard USB for Stick or HDD and SD card slot.

The ipad is too limited in storage options.

Mage Silver badge

2048 x 1536

I'd love that on a 14" to 16" laptop. Or on 11.5" x 11.7" active area eBook so as to read US & European technical PDFs actual size.

I'd have thought that with 16M colours, and sub-pixel addressing that you only need 120dpi to 150dpi on any tablet.

The iPad3 is 9.7" so it's about 264 dpi which just a waste of power.

Un- Aliased B&W text needs to be 300dpi to 600dpi to look really sharp. 180dpi pure white or black looks jagged. But if you anti-alias then you can use 1/4 resolution, so 150dpi is nearly as good as 600dpi. Laser printers can't as they either put a dot or not. But eInk can do 16 shades (enough) and LCD/OLED about 256 shades.

So decently done 133dpi LCD can look like over 500dpi. Add subpixel addressing and you nearly double the effective quality.

264 dpi (the iPad3) needs nearly 4 times the TFT power as as 132dpi as it's four times as many dots.

Apple egotisim wining out over common sense.

Add visual acuity. Not all iPads are owned by teenagers. Over 80% of adults won't see improvement above 150dpi for anything shaded. Why do you think colour photo resolution on books and magazines is about 150dpi?

Then how many adults should be using "reading glasses" and are not:?

People seeing my 15" 1600 x1200 screen laptop are first:

Staggered by resolution.


can't believe it's over 10 years old.

It's 133.3dpi and yes, sub pixel addressing works to make text look clear and smooth (though the default settings are not the best, but you can manually "tune" it).

I'll buy a tablet when it's eInk and 8.5" x 11.7" active area at more than 120dpi.

Most of the cheap 7" androids are opposite extreme to iPad3 with having a useless 800 x 480 resolution. My 4.3" Archos is 800 x 480. 16:9. It's too chunky for portable and too small/low res for eBook or Internet sensibly.

I think a 3:1 format might work for a phone for scrolling pages 1440 x 480 Like LG Chocolate shape,

But 4:3 is better than 16:9 for a larger Tablet. Apple do have that correct, though for large "eReader" that would give 11.7 x 8.775 (US letter size needs 8.5" and Eu A4 needs 11.67")

Mage Silver badge

Re: Blame your tools. not your ipad

"Why DO they do it as image per page? "

The Archos 605 WiFi had similar problem.

PDF far too slow and awkard

You needed to build an ancient version for "Flash" (v8?) to work and too slow

HTML problematic on page size. Nearly impossible to have "pages" filling screen well but not exceeding slightly triggering scrolling. Scrolling is evil on eBooks.

So people generated .png and .jpg images...

Fixed Page width is easy enough on HTML. Fixed page length is a pain.

Windows 3.1 rebooted: Microsoft's DOS destroyer turns 20

Mage Silver badge


Was really too orientated for Games.

Companies that installed NT 3.5 / NT3.51 servers in 1995 and held off till NT4.0 to buy new computers saved a lot of grief and money. WFWG 3.11 with file & print sharing off, 32bit TCP/IP, decent graphics and decent 32bit Disk and a few other tweeks was superior to "out of the box" Win95a for Business.

Also in 1996 there was little need for USB in business. Professional scanners used SCSI as did Professional backup etc.

Oddly on Win 3.1 /WFWG3.11 I had a 3rd party spelling checker that worked with ALL applications. Why now does each application have it's own or none and separate dictionaries for each?

I have WFWG 3.11 on CD via MSDN clients disc years ago and about 5 sets of Word 2.0a with licences/Manuals. I copied the Word 2.0a floppies to "gold" CD about 8 years ago.

There are better VMs to run Win3.1 in probably than the Oracle one.

A month to go on Cookie Law: Will Google Analytics get a free pass?

Mage Silver badge

Re: Confused - Guess I must shutter my sites!


Netgear Powerline Nano 500 Ethernet-over-mains adaptor

Mage Silver badge

Re: Interference


It has been proven by real qualified Radio Engineers and Interference specialists. It's not just "Radio Hams" being awkward (though in theory no product has the "right" to block them either).

Ofcom has ignored their own reports and expert 3rd party lab THEY asked to test.

Mage Silver badge

Re: When?

"They don't work unless they are plugged into the mains, so how can they talk to each other without mains wire?"

But they do. They only need mains power. Run one off a Generator, Inverter or UPS(unplug it after turning on) and with a reasonable 4 way socket strip extension cable and they will connect. The longer the "aerial" (extension cable) the bigger the distance.

The fuse box doesn't block it. They radiate very well from the lighting wiring.

You can get attractive skirting "board" that is concealed trunking and use a "router" to put slots under a door saddle to hide cable. A self adhesive trunking with clip on cover in a corner up a wall.

Running cable around outside of house too.

Convenience and lack of effort / imagination isn't an excuse to to flout international standards. These are ALL self certified using the wrong tests. They are ALL transmitters and ALL fail RFI testing when tested properly in a "real world" scenario and carrying data.

Mage Silver badge

Re: How many people use these things?

Unfortunately they are or they would be seized at customs. Money talks.

They can interfere with DSL. BT engineers advised BT vision against using them.

Rather than blocking all sale Ofcom only insists on removal if there is an unresolved complaint. That is not a Spectrum Management policy. It's caving into the Gadget maker lobby.

Mage Silver badge


"Try as I might, I couldn't get the Netgear kit to interfere with either my DAB radio or the FM tranny I have in the kitchen. Well-behaving powerline adaptors are 'notched' to prevent them transmitting on used frequencies, and in all instances I've seen of powerline kit causing noise, the receivers have been placed near the adaptor."

Not a scientific test. What is your DAB and FM reception level?

What does it do on MW, Shortwave, VHF Low (42 to 76MHz), CB (27MHz)

When was it decided anyway that only FM & DAB is protected Spectrum?

Mage Silver badge


These are inherently illegal transmitters. They talk to each other without actual mains wire.

If they are properly tested for Radio Interference they fail.

Get some Cat5e cable.

iPhone fanbois enraged by Instagram's Android triumph

Mage Silver badge

Points ->

Ha Ha

Analogue switch-off hits London today

Mage Silver badge


Why in two stages?

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. - Humans begin artificial CO2 emissions

Mage Silver badge

Re: Given that we've had to apologise for just about every historical "wrong"

If it wasn't for slavery the Steam Engine would have been economic 4000 years earlier...

Oh dear.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Hahaha

More than 6,000 years ago?

The predecessors to the Akkadian Empire certainly had fire. There may have even been an earlier "empire" before the "city" of which was likely more than 7,000 years ago as at least a fire burning village.

The Elamite civilisation is about 6,000 years ago.

The only reason we know anything much at all is survival of clay tablet writing preserved because the places got burnt.

If there was a civilisation 10,000 years ago or 20,000 years ago they inconveniently didn't write on clay and set fire to the city. Anything else other than cave paintings would be gone.

There is some suspicion that some cave "art" might include "writing". Which would push back literacy + fire to maybe 20,000 to 50,000 years. Maybe but dating can be controversial.

Regulator probes Groupon as shares tumble

Mage Silver badge


But can we trust the figures when they post a profit?

Internet Explorer nibbles browser rivals, swells by 1%

Mage Silver badge


If IE9 ran on XP think of the share MS would have :-)

I want clear milestone infrequent updates from Firefox, not the incessant tinkering. Once every 18 months or so ...

Or just when a new standard is released. Can't anyone write SW properly and securely to a standard?

Freeview TV shoved aside for iPad-compatible 4G

Mage Silver badge

I smell a rat

Are Ofcom in the Pocket of the Mobile Industry?

There are various reasons why IPTV can only be a compliment to Broadcast. Technical and financial.

Who killed ITV Digital? Rupert Murdoch - but not the way you think

Mage Silver badge

Re: Interesting comments, decent article.

RE "Just to be pedantic: QAM is used on cable, Freeview uses COFDM.

Each Carrier on COFDM uses QPSK, QAM16, QAM64 etc. OnDigital did use less robust QAM to fit more channels. LTE, WiMax and Flash Mobile systems use from QPSK to QAM256 on each carrier on their COFDM system. OFDM/OFDMA/COFDM can use from 30 to about 6700 or more carriers per channel or Multiplex. Cable uses a single carrier for each channel

Technically COFDM, OFDM and OFDMA are really encoding techniques. They all use QPSK or QAM for the carrier modulation.

Satellite OTH uses QPSK or APSK.

Mobe hackathon contest spits out Wi-Fi-by-bonk app wonder

Mage Silver badge

Can't be done with QR or hard?

No, ALL those can be done by QR code.

The Pill application can even be done easily with EAN code on pills and QR code on prescription to set up the application. Cheap and simple to print a QR code(s) on the prescription.

For the WiFi application "reading over the shoulder" is irrelevant. It's just a simple way to input the password, freely available, but only such inside the restaurant or whatever.

NFC is still a complex solution looking for a problem.

In most cases you only need a unique ID. So in shopping and no need to keep receipts for returns and track back to source the EAN is maker and Product. You just add a second serial number bar code. The unique ID is thus EAN + Serial number, allowing a serial number per product.

Then there is complete traceability and if you used a Store "points" card no need to keep receipts for returns. How do I know? I implemented this already on Printer consumables for a large Multinational. Each item got a 2nd "1 D" (not even a QR code!) code and scanned in on receipt from Wholesale/Maker. Then complete traceability. The customer would scan a Printer/fax/copier and the app would tell him what to get from local store. (s)He would scan it to get it out (next stage would be a Vending Machine type dispenser on site). Old cartridge scanned to recycle bin. This can all be automated.

Intel comfortably conquers chip market in 2011

Mage Silver badge

Maybe Intel charge more.

What are the volumes of chips?

'Intelligent systems' poised to outsell PCs, smartphones

Mage Silver badge

x86 will continue to shrink in embedded.

FPGAs have real ARM cores now

ARMs start at 80c for an M0

The whole board with High end ARM running Linux is cheaper than an x86.

Where are the Industrial I/O x86? Geode anyone

IDC must be in La La land.

At the high end running an OS the ARM has been displacing MIPS and x86 for years and growing.

At the low end they didn't exist. x86 can never ever eat that. The M0 and M0+ etc eating into 8bit market except for smallest cheapest 6pin to 28 pin devices.

Routers, Industrial controllers, set boxes Tvs that did use x86 are using ARM, MIPS, ST20 (basically a Transputer). ARM is growing there.

Microchip 18F PIC and MIPs core devices with USB and Ethernet.

Atmel now do ARM cores for Linux OS based devices.

This is laughable. Surely no-one in the Industry believes it, least of all Intel or AMD?

Mine's the one with NXP Cortex M family data sheets in the pocket.

August DTV700B portable Freeview TV and DVR

Mage Silver badge

480 lines is stupid

Ironic it's USA/Japan SD resolution (480 visible lines) rather than European/UK SD (576 visible lines) and yet will not work at all in Japan or USA.

This kind of US/Japan market display with a cobbled in generic DVB-T tuner for Aus/NZ and Europe has been about for ages. They are junk. Now obsolete junk.

Mage Silver badge

It's not Freeview. They can be sued for that.

It's only generic MPEG2 DVB-T

It's Obsolete. No MPEG4 or DVB-T2 or DVB-T2-lite

N.I. at end of 2012 becomes 1st place in UK for MPEG4 SD (on DVB-T2 Mini-mux).

Ireland and other countries already use MPEG4 not just for HD for SD (no MPEG2 at all on DVB-T in Ireland).

No MHEG5, so apart from lack of Certification, it can't even receive all Freeview Services.

You can't call it Freeview or Saorview unless it has the Certification/Licence.

Cheap generic & obsolete. Also UK (& especially Ireland) need more than a whip in majority of locations. They wouldn't even be allowed to sell it in France.

Irish and UK Free to Air TV

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