* Posts by Mage

5429 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Audi works with Chinese technology companies to develop intelligent cars

Mage
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Technology Companies? Really!

Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent to work on data analysis, internet connected vehicles and intelligent public transport.

That's equivalent to Ebay, Twitter and Facebook running Public Transport.

Not one of those are Technology companies. They are companies using the Internet for delivery of Marketing, Social Media and Services.

What are VW/Audi smoking

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Mage
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Re: visit a nominated machine

Sounds like a good idea.

Except it's probably really easy to make a fake ATM, that has "run out of funds" and put a burner SIM and mobile into it connecting to a burner IP address to capture PINs and other infos.

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Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

Mage
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Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

Much LESS likely from Sweden.

Why was he in the UK at all, if he was worried about USA?

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Remote hacker nabs Win10 logins in 'won't-fix' Safe Mode* attack

Mage
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Re: Security 101:need to have access to a PC

Game over if an evil entity has physical machine access. I stopped reading after that. I used to have linux OS CD with a program that could change the password on an NT account. It was amazing how often I had to legitimately use it for clients.

Once I was called to "fix" a dead class room. The RAM and HDD had been stolen from every PC!

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Microsoft: Our AI speech recognition mangles your words the least

Mage
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Re: 6.3% eh?

Also at the end of that you have a string of text. Then a completely different AI problem to parse that and decide what is wanted.

To have really good speech recognition you need context and meaning unless it's very simple list of commands for a car radio or dialling a phone.

Since most people have difficulty using search well with a keyboard, I don't think adding speech on top is going to result in successful queries or searches except for expert users.

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Spam texters fined £30K

Mage
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Only 50p per message cost!

Crazy low fine. 50p per violation!

Fine them £100 per violation! That would be still only £6M, though.

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'Inherent risk' to untried and untested 4G emergency services network – NAO

Mage
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It's not solved by priority

Mobile towers (2G, 3G, 4G) only work with backhaul links and a complex back end set of computer systems. The "billing" permits the call to be initiated and could even be outsourced to the so called "cloud". If someone forgets to pay a bill or there is an accounting mistake, no calls. Then a second "computer" system manages handing over between masts/sectors (though calls easily dropped then). Specialist voice switches are gateways to other voice systems, edge routers for data.

It's not designed to be reliable or resilient or suit anything other than commercial non-critical calls, other than as a marketing afterthought.

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Mage
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Coat

Saving x Billion

You can always save money by sacrificing security, resilience, reliability etc.

Using commercial 4G on commercial sSpectrum will certainly save money, but it's not fit for purpose, either day to day or in a disaster scenario.

Handsets and terminals also need a peer to peer mode (walkie talkie mode). You need additional security. Thus the savings will not be as much as claimed. All handsets and vehicle terminals will be x3 to x10 price of regular 4G handsets.

You need low latency push to tall so that "Don't Shoot" doesn't become "Shoot."

It might greatly improve data, but it's a rubbish voice solution. Perhaps data could use 4G and voice the existing system? There wasn't even voice in the original 4G release. It's higher latency than GSM, uses more capacity than 3G and is less robust as it's basically VOIP, rather than a native on air codec.

The only reason at all actually for digital voice codecs on mobile radio is easily encrypt it.

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Pass the 'Milk' to make code run four times faster, say MIT boffins

Mage
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Language feature really?

Seems like a runtime system support feature. Good languages only have such things via library support?

I can't see how this can be described as an intrinsic feature of ANY programming language.

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Google GPS grab felt like a feature, was actually a bug

Mage
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Devil

We identified a bug affecting a small number of users

They would say that. They claimed their deliberate WiFi slurp while making Street view was a mistake too (that's replaced by Android, Chrome Browser, (and even Google Analytics Etc), ChromeOS.

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Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

Mage
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Strange

Small change fine

Also why are they allowed to do it to ANYONE?

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Oracle happy to let Apache Foundation adopt NetBeans

Mage
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FAIL

Re: "javascript is a very broken language"

That may or may not be true, however it and node.js are NOTHING to do with Java, a cross platform programming language used in many things nothing to do with Web.

Javascript and similar are scripts for web browsers. The node.js a 3rd party library, used by websites. Whether it's sensible at all for a website to load functions from a 3rd party website at all is a separate issue, but node.js can't at all replace Java, it's a library implemented mostly in Javascript (which is NOT Java)!

Node.js is mostly javascript

"Although Node.js is not a JavaScript framework, many of its basic modules are written in JavaScript, and developers can write new modules in JavaScript."

Node.js isn't a programming language at all, it's a 3rd party function library!

We can have a separate arguement about Javascript and Node.js, I'd expect it to be colourful.

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Mage
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Re: "“I'm worried that anyone is still using java to be honest"

It's got lots of cross platform application, both with and without GUI, outside of Browsers or even "apps" for mobile (Though Android Apps are a sort of fork).

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Mage
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NetBeans

It can't get worse?

It's not the same scenario as Open Office, and if it was, well, I've switched from:

Wordstar + Supercalc (CP/M)

New word + Cracker (CP/M and MS DOS)

MS Office (Win 3.1)

MS Office + Star Office

MS Office + Open Office

LibreOffice

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Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: You can't say no?

Even with No Script, due to stupidity of web design and services it's now very hard to avoid Google on a regular PC.

What alternatives are there to an Android phone that isn't (A) overpriced, (B) dead, (C) someone you never heard of, or (M,N) a dead zombie platform?

Many cheap "feature phones" are GSM only, which (in Ireland) operators can turn off with no 2 year retail warning implied by SOGA, but only needing to give a 6 month notice to Comreg (the Irish version of Ofcom or FCC).

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Mage
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Devil

You can't say no?

Actually I have data disabled on my Android phone, I've only enabled wIfi to download an ePub reader app and a text editor (which complains on every load that that it can't access internet). I removed Amazon's Kindle eReader App because it would pop up warnings about being unable to connect, even when it wasn't listed as running and hadn't been used (I use Calibre and my real Kindle's serial number to convert DRM'ed Amazon to ePub).

I use the media player, camera, FM Radio, SMS, regular voice.

I transfer eBooks and photos and video via USB storage mode.

Something similar with my tablet.

Google, you stink. There should be a special hell for companies like you and Facebook, destroying people's privacy. So called "Social Media" (Google+, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) etc is worse because they are more exploitive and encourage people to share information that can't be automatically gathered and also OTHER people's information!

Now MS is stupidly destroying their lucrative automatic repeat sale software business by trying to be like Google.

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Yelp wins fight to remain morally bankrupt

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: Used to be known as

They don't need to make fake negative reviews. They will happen anyway to even the best run most excellent businesses.

They should be in trouble for offering to remove them in exchange for money.

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Nvidia: Eight bits ought to be enough for anybody ... doing AI

Mage
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Re: Possibly also not relevant -

A serial bit stream could be any desired number of bits. So called 1 bit DACs are really 16 bit at least and the 48kHz or 44.1KHz parallel sample rate is unchanged, but the clock frequency becomes much higher.

1 bit on/off with 1:32 variation of mark/space ratio isn't one bit. It's five bits quantisation.

Tape can have a poorer dynamic range than 8 bit quantisation on cheap machines using a magnet to erase rather than AC erasing. Speech recognition was working with cassette tape replay in 1990s.

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Mage
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Re: 8 bit sound

Depends if it's carrier grade QOS managed VOIP or VOIP over random public Internet.

My own phone service (real geo numbers) is using VOIP on a fixed wireless link, but only as far as my ISP's voice switch. So Fax and analog modems usually work. Your mileage with a 3rd party VOIP supplier over the ordinary public internet will vary with your connection jitter and packet loss. Unlike gaming, or person to person chat, latency isn't an issue.

@JulieM Brilliant.

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Mage
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Re: 8 bit sound

Actually AM radio is rather better than linear 8bit, and the "goodness" of it depends on the bandwdith and interference. It was MUCH better in the 1930s! Even ordinary AM can be better than ISDN phone quality (8bit u or A law).

Also u-Law or A-Law 8 bit audio is perfectly good for speech recognition, that's the method used to improve on linear 8 bit for the majority of the worlds digital fixed line phones. GSM codecs are lower quality. 3G can use similar or better than GSM, but it's rarely better than 8bit ISDN. Similarly, VOIP connections can rarely support Fax or Analogue Modems, though 8 bit ISDN can.

I suspect that if the sound level is ideal, even 8 bit linear audio will work for speech recognition.

Humans can recognise 5 bit encoded speech, done using 1:32 variable PWM on a PC on/off loudspeaker.

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End all the 'up to' broadband speed bull. Release proper data – LGA

Mage
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Pirate

Yes!

"Up to speeds" should be the expected peak time speeds for 67% of users. "An Average" speed can be skewed by off peak time and a small percentage of users getting 10x speed or more.

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Amazon pops up more shops

Mage
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Deliver same day?

Free delivery is about a week

Premium delivery is about 3 to 4 days

Where do you live to get same day delivery from Amazon?

I think same day delivery for letters in Ireland and UK existed up till Edwardian era. The Victorians had it. Now with "airmail only" even a letter can be 3 days UK to Ireland.

Local shops and Online are complementary. Buying online for China is 1/3rd to 1/10th of cost of same thing in Maplin. Sometimes though getting it from Maplin inside an hour is handy, though increasingly unlikely to be in stock.

I prefer to buy fitted clothes, shoes, boots, very large items and food locally. Obviously Amazon plan to compete with Tesco and Pennys?

I was amazed to discover though that people order books from the local bookshop rather than Amazon, but then about about 1/3rd of people in some areas don't have internet and about 10% can't actually get broadband.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Google Play Services (GPS), the Trojan app

1) One cloud is a single point of failure

2) I don't trust Google with my Apps data

3) Actually I mostly want apps that are just 100% local, never app replacements for web sites.

It's time Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc got a kicking from governments & regulators.

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Upstart AI dreams of 'disrupting' digital marketing – with sex

Mage
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Nielsen Group

I wonder is it any use at all.

Most of the usually excellent advice here gets ignored.

https://www.nngroup.com

Really the only reason it's hard is because websites are being designed purely for "pretty" or the pointy haired boss wanting one button. Most are worse than 10 years ago.

This is "jargon" speak marketing. It's built by programmers meeting the goals of a marketing department.

This is nonsense.

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HP Ink buys Samsung's printer business for a BILLION dollars

Mage
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Printing?

Really important in the 1990s to 2006... now I copy colour photos / images to USB stick to show on laptops / TVs and "print" B&W text and some other stuff to 9.7" Kindle or 6" kindle or 6.8" Kobo.

Or I make a web page. I replaced the (working) MFP inkjet with a basic colour duplex laser for same price as a set of ink cartridges when we really need paper or card copy.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Mage
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Perpetual Motion

If you can extract energy from the "perpetual motion machine", and it doesn't radiate or influence environment, well, then it is not breaking laws of thermodynamics? But what use is it?

Reminds me of Entangled "Instant" action at a distance. You can't break the barrier of light speed communications with it, but it is some use (in crypto systems)

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Linux 4.8 rc6 facepalm!

Mage
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Alien

Hello

Which alien has replaced Linus? Can't really be his comments?

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End of life for Linux 3.14

Mage
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Headmaster

End of Support

End of Support != End of Life

If something has no software added, never connects to internet etc (Dumb TV set, dumb microwave etc, or some factory tool) then there isn't an End Of Life till it breaks.

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Intel pulls out hard cash to gobble virtual CPU upstart Soft Machines

Mage
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Coat

Neither Fish nor Fowl

It's an interesting idea, but unless you really need x86 and ARM instructions in the same chip what is the point? It would be a very niche market and only of value in a Full Fat SoC with GPU and all I/O shared, maybe on a MS Surface Phone/Tablet able to run real Windows programs and Android Playstore Apps.

Performance, power consumption and cost is going to be poorer than simply a regular x86 SoC with an ARM core added or vice versa and much poorer than either a dedicated ARM or x86.

Perhaps Intel can find something useful in the IP. I doubt the staff will be employed long, though some may find suitable positions in Intel. Certainly I can't see the value of anyone other than Intel buying them. Not even AMD or the Chinese, it's too niche.

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Filmmaker Werner Herzog interviews Elon Musk for internet doco

Mage
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Gosh!

I'd an idea that Herzog was a little different, perhaps a little extreme. However I had no idea. If he was a character in a book people would think the author was crazy.

I'm educated. I also need mind bleach.

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Google's AI finds its voice ... and it's surprisingly human

Mage
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This comment isn't true!

"Machine babble often sounds emotionally flat and robotic because it’s difficult to capture the natural nuances of human speech."

Absolute Nonsense. The issue is parsing and then understanding the text so as to decide how to nuance the speech, punctuation is a weak clue as to speed, pauses, pitch.

We have been able to create natural speech for maybe more than 40 years, IF there is a special marked up text with meta tags for pitch, loudness, speed, pauses. Ordinary text has to be parsed and understood.

Even actors etc, read text better if they are familiar with it and understand it. Otherwise even humans reading unfamiliar text can sound rubbish.

Google Translate is very "successful" in some respects, but it killed computer speech/language/translation development because it's not "intelligent" at all, it's a brute force "Rosetta Stone" / "Code breaker" approach rather than translation by parsing an entire section, understanding it and paraphrasing.

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Petulant Facebook claims it can't tell the difference between child abuse and war photography

Mage
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Devil

now a significant source of real world news

No, it's not.

It's a pit of garbage and exploited ordinary people.

It's not fit for purpose for many things people doing, like the guy making a virtual museum. He should have a website of his own.

We don't want an Internet that consists of only six or seven sites!

Media organisations need to boycott it. They all have their own web sites. Why are they giving Zuckerberg free promotion?

People need an email address to sign up to Facebook. Anything for their friends should be sent Bcc by email.

Unlike specialist forums for specific interests there is no value to Facebook at all. It's simply an exploitive parasite.

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Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Mage
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Devil

Great

Excellent exposé!

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Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'

Mage
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Big Brother

Bringing Internent..

Misleading. Zukerberg's Trojan Facebook pushing service will exploit Africans. It's not general internet, but what ever selection he decides. Cultural or Economic Imperialism?

They want to be a news service, yet censor news feeds and museums on Facebook.

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Mage
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Headmaster

not the rocket engine’s fault?

"it was not the rocket engine’s fault in a tweet today.

Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source."

That is not logic. It wasn't the fault of a RUNNING rocket engine. That doesn't rule out the rocket engine.

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Double-negative tweet could be Microsoft Surface Phone hint

Mage
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Surface Phone?

So really more a very small x86 Tablet than a phone.

Nokia changed from x86 to ARM on their "Communicator" smartphone in what, 2001 or 2002?

I guess if you REALLY need x86 compatibility in your pocket? But really is ANY x86 Windows application going to be usable on a small screen, like Adobe Photoshop, Sage, Market leading UK Payroll, SAP, or... (I struggle to think of anything else important on Windows that doesn't have a Linux or ARM or MacOS equivalent).

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Mage
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Benefits?

Mainly to the suppliers, to be able to load shed more precisely.

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NASA's OSIRIS-REx is off to nick some rocks from asteroid Bennu

Mage
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Alien

Did Space Rocks bring life?

Probably not, really unlikely and a "Turtles all the way down" argument. Conditions here far better.

It doesn't answer anything if they find life or not. In the extremely unlikely scenario of complex DNA that matches DNA here, which contaminated which?

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The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Mage
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Pint

Lovely story

I hope they continue to succeed.

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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Mage
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Pirate

Re: It's pretty minimal cost

No, it's not. It's x3 more expensive than a domain name, and my multiple domains already cost more than my hosting. It would make my total annual cost about 2.5x higher, just for the certificates. However I'd also need a far more expensive hosting package, something to do with issues of HTTPS and shared IPs? At any rate even if you have a cert, my hosting company charges a lot more.

No-one (other than me for updates) logs into my sites. They all are backed up. The SQL server access is only possible on the site, not remotely.

I use SFTP.

HTTPS is way too expensive unless you are making money from the site, or eCommerce. Even for selling, it's possible to use 3rd party payment such as PayPal where you get the customer details from PayPal later (using their HTTPS) and the customer never logs on to your own site, nor ever gives you card details.

This is to suit Gooogle.

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Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

Mage
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Flame

"without pre-installed software"

"The national court will have to decide whether, when a consumer has been informed before the sale "that the model of computer is not marketed without pre-installed software and that he is therefore free to choose another model of computer, of another brand, with similar technical specifications and sold without software, the ability of that consumer to make an informed transactional decision was appreciably impaired," the CJEU said."

Laptops without pre-installed/supplied with operating systems are almost like Unicorns. From time to time Dell and a few others offer alternatives to Windows, not nothing. Generally speaking the ONLY retail alternative to Windows is overpriced hardware from Apple.

I hope there is some later appeal or clarification. While we are at it, the retailers and boxes have stopped listing the screen resolution, only giving screen diagonal.

Also no-one seems to supply media now to re-install the OS if the HDD fails or is replaced.

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What's up, Zuck? FTC to probe Facebook for WhatsApp phone number mega-slurp

Mage
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Big Brother

Bright Side

At least our new Social Media overlords don't sent us to Gulags, Vietnam War, Internment Camps, or "Work makes you free" slave factories.

Just examine our privates and spam us.

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Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Mage
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Apple's watch is pretty much like Ford's Edsel

An insult to Ford.

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Mage
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Flame

Will audio quality get better?

"Will audio quality get better? By abolishing analogue there’s now a clearer digital path to your ear, and the phones get smaller."

Is that ironic, because BT or other digital connection adds re-encoding of the original digital content, which has to be unpacked. The "digital" earphones can easily have a lower quality decoder, DAC and audio amp than is possible on the phone motherboard. Re-encoding from one digital format to another ALWAYS reduces the quality unless it's a totally lossless format. You simply can't have the same quality and power level of analogue signal inside a wireless ear bud as 50 cents worth of electronics inside the phone. What part of the fact that Earphones and Loudspeakers need analogue* do people not understand?

YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE ANALOGUE TO DRIVE THE EARPHONE COILS!

This is daft. The only advantage whatsoever of ditching an analogue jack is to Apple. You'd be lucky to have as as good quality and will have poor choice of earphones / headsets and have to spend money to connect it to a HiFi as an MP3 player.

The Apple justification of this is simply lies. It's a disgrace and a huge backward step. I'd bet if they could prevent 3rd party earphones working, they would. It's immoral.

[*A nasty trick of low power electronics is to use Pulse Width Modulation, variations of Class D, on/off to drive the moving coil of an earphone or speaker. Apart from the risk of radio interference, it's hard to get the distortion and resolution as good as decent DAC followed by filter and linear audio amp.]

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World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Mage
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Joke

Re: I thought I'd buy one to try when they first came out..

10 of them?

Do they breed like aphids?

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Mage
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Umm

I'm still confused.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Mage
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"courageous" move to save space on the handset

No, greed to suit Apple and sell "Beats" earphones.

How long does the battery of Apple's wireless earphone last per charge. How long till it wears out, how is it replaced?

I gave away an iPhone 5. I'm happy with my ancient Sony Xperia.

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Microsoft to slap Slack with Skype – reports

Mage
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User groups?

Like Tencent's QQ has had for years.

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Nest offers its thermostat in three new pretty colors!

Mage
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Nest

Plenty of more compatible to any boiler alternatives without "cloud creepiness" by established control equipment companies.

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Mage
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Re: IP Addresses

"So it made sense for big organisations to be given class A or B addresses. "

No, it never did. USA greed.

There must be 100s of millions of unused never mind wasted IPs in USA.

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