* Posts by Mage

6451 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Vizio coughs up $2.2m after its smart TVs spied on millions of families

Mage
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Re: Adobe was doing the same thing

Still are.

Any ebook using ePub using Adobe DRM.

Amazon also does the same unless you turn it off. Amazon eReader App on Android tries to call home ANYWAY, even if you are not using the reader, so I removed it.

Kobo does it on non-DRM ePub unless you turn it off.

This is one reason I remove DRM. I don't share copies.

I only use my "smart phone" as a feature phone, Data isn't enabled on my mobile package and I've only turned on WiFi a couple of times to try apps that allegedly work without Internet. Same with my tablet.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Fuck you

Indeed.

Also what about Android TV.

TV sets where YOU CAN NOT SKIP agree with Google to use the set at all. Even though these sets sold by companies that used to use their own BETTER GUIs on a Linux base.

All so they can market them with "Apps".

Really there should be a fine of $100 per TV sold. All of World. I can't think of any democratic country where such behaviour as Vizio and Google is legal.

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Japanese team unveils terahertz band 100 Gbps wireless tech

Mage
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It's very niche

High Altitude platforms (which as yet are not viable). Satellite mesh networking among satellites.

Actual terrestrial range is pure line of sight and very limited by weather.

Infra red laser is nearly more useful. It's a lab party trick, because they can.

The "spectrum" shortage is a myth. The whole point of Cellular is to re-use the same nine channels (minimum is three, but nine is better if a mast only uses 3, one each per 120 degrees). The problem is two fold:

1) Stupidly having more than one wholesale operator. If you have four, then you need x4 spectrum.

2) Not enough basestations. Because of ROI, it's not economic to have smaller cells and give people x10 speed as they won't pay much more.

The real impetus of selling off TV spectrum, Army & satellite spectrum to mobile is:

1) Extra licence revenue to Regulators and thus Government.

2) Cheap low capacity for rural without building new masts, use the GSM ones,

3) Cheap extra capacity in cities, to compete with WiFi points, without extra masts. This is why they want LTE on WiFi, use existing band, tech and charge you more.

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Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

Mage
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Re: Tax avoidance?

No, that's certain Presidents, not CEOs.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Choose your enemies

Certainly you don't even need to be a conspiracy theorist or any sort of nutcase, just analytical, to wonder if Zuckerberg or Eric Schmitt (The least spoken of Google boss) is more evil and wonder how much like the corporate guy in Fifth Element they are.

Maybe the security is in case Bruce Willis or Chuck Norris comes after him, because Zuckerberg seems to have a tenuous grasp of reality, he may not realise that (a) Fictional, (b) Getting old.

Also he doesn't seem to care about our privacy any more than Schmitt does.

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A non-Standards Soviet approved measure of weight? Sod off, BBC!

Mage
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Coat

Re: That's a selkie

Sometimes I can't be bothered and like making random comments?

My bad, It was indeed Selkies I was thinking of. Now I'll have to research Kelpies. Obviously my personal library is lacking in Scottish content.

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Mage
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Linux

takes the form of a horse or a pony.

Sounds like a Púca not a Kelpie

I thought a Kelpie was a Scottish / Irish were-mer-creature that looks like a seal. I never heard them described as horse like. Though Celtic myth is strong on magical fairy horses.

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BBC and Snap. But, why?

Mage
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Devil

BBC stupidity

The only more stupid PSB broadcaster I know is RTE.

They have a MASSIVE web infrastructure, with comments.

Yet they wanted to ditch HGTTG "wiki"

They push everyone on their website and R4 to Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is probably incompatible with BBC Charter, UK Law and EU law. Both are commercial third parties.

So no surprise.

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Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

Mage
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Re: Skype as a free alternative to H323

I thought "Skype for business" was a completely different system, just a rebranded MS Lync?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype_for_Business

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Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Another Cloud con

I thought it had ages ago at the LAST blocking of Skype Log on?

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This many standards is dumb: Decoding 25Gb Ethernet and beyond

Mage
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Re: cat-8?

Or Cat-4. You hear about Cat-3 (phone cable, from 2 to very many pairs, maybe 25?) and Cat-5 (basic LAN quad pairs)

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Mage
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I can't figure why

Thank you.

And in Mage Towers we still wonder why only some 1Gbps Ethernet computer ports work with the cheap 3com 8-port switches. Most don't. Some work if you set them manually to Master or 10Mbps in windows! I don't know how to do that on Linux, so I use the WiFi. Nor have I sussed out why one Airport is 54Mbps and another is 250Mbps, probably g and n standards.

Yes, I love the XKCD.

Great article.

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Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

Mage
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Re: perfectly reasonable?

Why does this stupid API exist at all?

A web site only ought to know the window size.

Far too much information is given away by web browsers.

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GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

Mage
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Re: Whatever it takes to make a sale

I gave a presentation once.

The chairman of the board complained that it was over the top security and lock down. He said most students wouldn't have a clue how to hack stuff.

I pointed out:

a) They could look it up on the internet.

b) What about the other expert students? Were they trustworthy? It only needed one expert bad egg, and he might even explain it to the others.

Despite being the most expensive, we got the contract.

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Mage
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Headmaster

Losing Customers: cf fake Domain parking and evil DNS

Convinced that it should be subscribers, rather than the operator, who chose who was called—anecdotally, Strowger's undertaking business was losing clients to a competitor whose telephone-operator wife was intercepting and redirecting everyone who called Strowger—he first conceived his invention in 1888, and patented the automatic telephone exchange in 1891. It is reported that he initially constructed a model of his invention from a round collar box and some straight pins.

See Wiki on Almon Strowger

Certainly that's what I was told in the 1970s,

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Would you like to know why I get a lot of action at night?

Mage
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Re: Sorry

Antihistimes are not a generally good solution. Nor are decongestants (which actually make it worse). Specialist prescription cortisoids are effective. Like the steroid nasal sprays. Interesting that some are now over the counter. I didn't know that.

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Mage
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Re: Thanks...

Or setup a VPN that uses port 80?

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Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Mage
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Re: Oh yeah .....

They have never properly supported VB since after VB6. Easier to re-do from scratch in Java or C# than port from VB6 to VB.NET, and that was with decently written stuff (Option Explicit, no "clever" tricks, just Modula-2/Pascal/Delphi style programs). For a start no support in VB.NET for arrays of form widgets.

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Mage
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Re: Oh yeah .....

One of the top VB book writers argued "forget VB.Net, it's a C programmer's idea of VB."

I decided very quickly that VB.net was inferior to C# and for RAD and Prototyping (of microcontrollers in another language) that VB6 was superior.

So mostly I used Java if it wasn't private prototypes (for which I stuck with VB6).

So VB has been dead since Vb.net "replaced" VB6. C# was really MS replacement. YET!!!! They could not decide on a "model" for the GUI or APIs! It kept changing and there seemed to be three competing "solutions" none of which seemed sufficiently finished to really replace VB6.

Also why has 64 bit Win7 "broken" VB6 apps? Stuff compiled for NT3.51 using Stony Brook Modula-2 STILL "just runs" on Win7 64 bit and most VB6 applications don't!

Why too did MS not put the 64bit code in Program Files(x64), and instead broke everything (starting with XP Itanium 64 bit or NT4.0 Alpha 64? I don't know) by putting 32bit in Program Files (x86) and 64bit in Program Files?

Back in 2003 or so, I think they started to lose the plot.

Ribbon,

Aero

Direct 3D API for regular forms!

"Metro" / Win8 / Win10

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Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all

Mage
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Genius

It was pure luck.

He's a one trick pony that copied other people's trick. (Social Media).

He's been buying up other companies and breaking privacy laws even before that. (Instagram)

Also

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38834867

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AT&T ready to trial latest attempt at pumping internet over power lines

Mage
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Re: What everyone here seems to be missing

It's not internet over power lines at all then.

The talk of "waveguides" is bonkers. It's either microwaves just using towers to mount dishes, or wires for lower frequency RF.

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Mage
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Re: I sensed a disturbance in the force

Hams are not the only people using MW & SW.

Ordinary people, spies listening to number stations, CB users :D

Also ESB trials (Ireland's Electricity service) found that licensed low band VHF mobile and also CB disrupted the powerline data.

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Mage
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Devil

Stupid

Will people never learn?

Basic physics. You can't have more than a few hundred bits per second on power lines without two issues.

1) Signal susceptible to mobile radio and interference.

2) Signal radiating and interfering with other services.

Domestic powerline adaptors only "pass" FCC and CE because they are tested using loop holes in the procedures. They need to be tested properly, at which point they will either be banned or manage only about 80K bps without interference (and over a shorter range too).

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In China, Apple's gegenpress doesn't scare the locals

Mage
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was supply constrained on the Pro

Ha Ha

Pull the other one.

Well, Apple has enough inertia to be profitable at least another 10 years. But I doubt they can ever repeat the success of the iPod (initially due to iTunes content) and iPhone (initially due to operator bundling and data deals) with any new product type.

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Baird is the word: Netflix's grandaddy gets bronze London landmark

Mage
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Re: What a difference a word makes

Marconi got his first big breaks with the UK P.O. That started his career.*

The P.O. was surprised at his good English, but his mother was posh Anglo-Irish and had encouraged him to experiment on their Italian estate.

One of his wives was Irish too.

Marconi had more difficulty in USA, eventually being forced to sell his holding in what became famous RCA.

[* There is even an accurate Ladybird book on the subject]

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Mage
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Steam Punk

Marconi wagon mounted Wireless sets were sent to British forces for Boer War. They could in theory have sent radio fax (wired fax dates from 1851!) or 22 line Nipkow disk (like Baird TV) TV from South Africa to London. It would have needed some repeating stations, receiving on to recordable 78s (which may have existed) or Edison cylinders and retransmitted.

Some home recordings of Baird TV exist on 78s intended for home recording of Radio. The Baird tests started with AM radio after hours. Some of the USA AM stations had radio fax transmission in early 1930s after hours as well as the USA version of Baird TV.

Nothing unique or innovative about early Baird systems. The later ones overlapped superior RCA & EMI electronic TV.

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Mage
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Re: Lines

Visible and system lines are different.

405 approx 378

525 is 480 (hence VGA is progressive version of NTSC)

625 is 576

1125 can result as 1080. My Analogue CRT actually is 1125 lines to do 1920 x 1080 HD via VGA connector.

I think I mentioned 220, when actually last Baird was 240, but I don't know how many visible lines.

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Mage
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Re: Dead end: Philo Farnsworth

Philo Farnsworth's camera was electronic and also a dead end. Nor was it anything like an original concept or the first.

It's just the USA sees him in same light as UK sees Baird, a plucky underdog fighting the big corporation. Actually EMI was originally HMV, the UK branch of the Victor Talking Machine Co., bought by RCA, that had once had Marconi as a founder.

So EMI / RCA camera co-operation and also Marconi transmitters in UK is no surprise.

Double the resolution of a Farnsworth camera and the sensitivity is half. It was at the start 100s of times less sensitive than the Iconscope (Early RCA & EMI camera). The RCA/EMI system sensitivity was only much affected by frame rate as it stores the charge on the image between scans.

Philo Farnsworth's camera was doomed to never be usable at feasible lighting levels and even 220 lines (which Baird tried it at).

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Mage
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Re: His mechanical system, even enhanced, couldn't compete

Actually some satellites DID process film in space, partially to avoid the "Ice Station Zebra" issues.

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Mage
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Re: His mechanical system, even enhanced, couldn't compete

Cathode Ray tube was Victorian, yet Dutch, not Baird was first to use it for display of Baird mechanically scanned TV.

The real problem, as Philo Farnsworth found, was the camera tube. Farnsworth's was very poor sensitivity because it didn't store charge. Baird bought some, but the film camera was better. The RCA / EMI system developed by Vladimir Zworykin.

1933 RCA Electronic camera (HD if on 9" display!)

http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/rca/1933cam/1933-p1.html

It was based on his design started at Westinghouse Electric in 1923

Baird was rubbish, chasing a dead end.

"In 1907, Russian scientist Boris Rosing used a CRT in the receiving end of an experimental video signal to form a picture. He managed to display simple geometric shapes onto the screen, which marked the first time that CRT technology was used for what is now known as television.[20] In 1897, J. J. Thomson, an English physicist, in his three famous experiments was able to deflect cathode rays, a fundamental function of the modern Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). The earliest version of the CRT was invented by the German physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun in 1897 and is also known as the Braun tube"

"In 1926, Hungarian engineer Kálmán Tihanyi designed a television system utilizing fully electronic scanning and display elements and employing the principle of "charge storage" within the scanning (or "camera") tube"

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Mage
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Facepalm

Baird

He didn't invent modern TV. He started with a 22 line mechanical system, based on Victorian tech. The last version (using CRT display and film based cameras) was 220 lines.

RCA & EMI developed modern TV based on a 1905 idea. USA was 440 (later 525) and UK was 405. Operational from 1935.

On a 9" screen (typical) it was indeed HD compared to 1920 x 1080 on a 42" screen today.

WWII saw higher resolution used for Nazi rocket range CCTV.

1948 saw 625 line in Europe.

Baird was a showman and not even a real engineer. Eventually the Baird company paid him to sit at home. The film based near real time camera with built in processing and scanning was clever and used in early satellites as electronic cameras were too poor. The film processed on the satellite could be high resolution and the scanning of it could be sent back slower than real time per frame, as it was really still photography.

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Google mistakes the entire NHS for massive cyber-attacking botnet

Mage
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Re: Why?

Also use of Chrome (Google Spyware) should be illegal in NHS anyway.

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Mage
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Facepalm

GitLab last year decreed it had outgrown the cloud

Irrelevant,

Either way, it's only a shared service to allow collaboration. EVERYONE should have their own complete backups.

Gitlab itself is surely a "Cloud" service?

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Samsung is on fire, overtakes Apple as world's #1 chip-shifter

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Apple

Apple bought in an existing expert ARM licence SoC design company. The first iPhone used the Samsung SC6400 family ARM SoC.

Also on what basis is this assessed? Apple doesn't have even a quarter of mobile phone market. What about chips in washing machines, router/modems, TVs, Radios, Flash (used in phones, eReaders, USB sticks, SD Cards, HDD parameters, modems, TVs, etc), RAM.

Really this sounds dubious that Apple was ever at #1. Also what foundry makes the chips that Apple's bought in company uses?

Also "sales value" for chips only used in house might be quite fictitious.

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Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

Mage
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Coat

Re: Underestimating the difficulty

Though fibre has a much larger minimum bend radius than Cat5e

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Mage
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plumbing pipe

Yes, in late 1960s they invented plumbing for lasers, commercial less than 20 years later.

It's called fibre.

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If USA wants a say in 5G, Cisco HAS to buy Ericsson

Mage
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Curiously the USA used to have Motorola

Networks to Nokia

IP to Google

Handsets to China (Was it Lenovo?)

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Free smart fridges! App stores in fountains! Plus more from Canonical man

Mage
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Wishfull thinking

I seriously hope "White" Goods makers either don't hear this guy or ignore him. Otherwise we are going to end up in the 18th C. tech wise, without any working white goods.

TVs are bad enough already. You can't even buy a real radio any longer except for a car, and Halfords seem to think car radios only do FM and DAB. Or stupid App controlled light bulbs that can make a bot net. Philips was once a world leader in Electronics, and in 1926 before getting into radio, they made proper light bulbs.

Are people determined to make everything that uses mains or batteries as unreliable and unsafe as Windows ME on the Internet in 2016?

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Parliamentary Trump-off? Pro-Donald petition passes 100k signatures

Mage
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Flame

"he is the leader of a free world"

No, he's not.

He's only the leader of the USA. Maybe 13% of the population, but consuming 75% of resources?

How many countries of the 195 to 205 (Not everyone agrees which countries are "real") are "free"* and have equality of opportunity.

[For an extra 5 points define "free"]

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'Grey technology' should be the new black

Mage
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Unhappy

Zooming Text

Yet Windows and Linux has had a magnifier (and screen readers) "built in" for maybe 15 years. They don't seem very usable.

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Mage
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Re: Android vs age

We have a fairly recent non-smart 40" Toshiba. It's brilliant. The new 43" Sony was to replace it, but it's in the bedroom as the Program guide text is too small (too small there too), the GUI is garbage and it's not in Internet anyway as our broadband hasn't enough cap for video.

Android TV seems designed and tested by people that only use the TV as big smartphone.

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Mage
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Doro

Except most Doro are only GSM and here in Ireland operators only have to give 6 month notice to replace GSM with 3G or 4G. No requirement to warn Retail two years in advance (See SOGA).

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Mage
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Re: It's not all about the buttons...

Voice control is no solutions.

Fact:

GUIs and UI design have got MUCH WORSE since 1990s. Everything is designed on initial impact, not usability.

Nielsen Norman Group is like a voice crying in the wilderness.

Flat Icons, Flat UIs, abstract over simplified icons, removing the simple two bright and two dim lines from every "button". No mainstream smartphones with buttons. Grey text on white, or dark grey on black, gratuitous changes to location of stuff on newer versions. Ribbon instead of conventional Menus.

I could go on. But most new GUIs, OS versions etc are now barely usable for anyone. Even with Mate Desktop and Redmond theme (Win9x - NT4/XP) many applications ignore desktop theme and do their own thing. Stupid GUI and scroll bars on Firefox needing two plugins to nearly fix. Stupid GUI changes on Thunderbird, "Concept style" flat GUI on calculator.

Windows is a downhill slide XP -> Vista -> Win7 (though you can disable stupid Aero), Win8 and insane Win10 like Win 1.0 with no sensible theme/GUI modification.

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Father of Pac-Man dies at 91

Mage
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Ah ... Pac Man

Oddly the first computer game I had, though I'd used computers for 4 years. I had Pac man clone on a Jupiter Ace, written in Forth. Maybe 1983.

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Sony takes $1bn writedown: Streaming has killed the DVD star

Mage
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Re: Sorry, but no

Content

DVDs and even BluRay are cheap compared to CDs. But I've not bought any for ages.

But I'm not buying or streaming or watching broadcast. I lost interest in US comics and Disney years ago. LCD stands for Lowest Common Denominator. Crap "reality" styled stuff, or lavish "costume" dramas that are really just soaps and run roughshod over the facts and period dialogue.

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Mage
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Re: Sony has only it's own blind devotion to draconian DRM to blame

Also the Sony 4K HD TV has CRAP Google Android and DRM:

1) Can't even tune without accepting Google "contract"

2) Primarily set up for Internet Apps. Not everyone actually has Broadband with a Cap for Video or a Netflix sub.

3) The satellite feature is unmanageable to set favourites

4) The GUI is garbage and on 43" set the text is unreadable, too small.

5) The USB HDD must be dedicated, it wants to format and encrypt it

6) Even FTA content can only be played back on same TV.

Sony has lost the plot. My old Z1 phone is great. Even the PS4 has a better GUI than their new TVs, but I think their SW has gone downhill since PS2.

But even going back to Mini-Disk their content arm crippled it with DRM. You could only play back your OWN live recordings via analogue on Net MD. You could only check in and write one copy of any file to the Minidisk via the evil Sony Application.

Madness.

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Boeing's 747 to fly off the production line for the foreseeable future

Mage
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Re: "tuna in a can"

Flaky chunks?

Shirley you mean sardines?

Did I read somewhere that Boeing was really developing a supersonic passenger aircraft (early concept had mad swing wings which make sense on a smaller plane), but abandoned it and transferred as much development as possible into the 747 development?

It's certainly been a successful design. What it needs is an upgrade to use a General Dynamics fusion engine.

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Former Mozilla dev joins chorus roasting antivirus, says 'It's poison!'

Mage
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Re: Problem with Anti-Virus

The problem is OS design and ESPECIALLY email client and Browser design.

Many people can't be bothered learning.

It's crazy bad design that you can infect OS from browser content.

AV isn't the solution, so while it sometimes nearly impossible, user education, when accepted is far more effective.

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Bookish hacker finds holes in Amazon, Apple, Google epub services

Mage
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anyone can print and sell your books

This has always been true.

The Lord of the Rings was ripped off by a USA company.

Actually "anyone" can print and sell your books only in the sense that ANYONE can re-publish anyone's content of any kind, and DRM does not stop it. HD Video example: HDCP on HDMI and BD copy protection are extra costs to the consumer and HDCP creates problems. A pretty good pirate copy can be made by pointing HD camera at 42" HDTV in a dark room.

1) It's mostly a problem if you are already famous, then you have the resources to enforce your rights.

2) DRM is NOT the solution to copyright violation.

3) It's an overstated problem in terms of claimed lost revenue.

If you have a good story or great educational material, then publish, but NOT exclusive to Amazon. Also use Smashwords (who distribute to Apple iBook, Barnes&Nobel, FlipCart, Kobo etc). Read Mark Coker's free ebooks on the subject (Smashwords). There is also now Google's playstore.

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VPN on Android means 'Voyeuristic Peeper Network' in many cases

Mage
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Big Brother

Reviews?

How many people clued up on what an App is really doing write reviews?

You almost need a spare phone with diagnostic tools to test Playstore Apps?

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