* Posts by Mage

6436 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

The eyes have IT: TSB to roll out iris-scanning tech for mobile banking

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Idiots

Biometrics should never ever be part of a security key, because:

1) You can't change them

2) People will believe what the database has, even if it's planted info.

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This is why old Windows Phones won't run PC apps

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "What Win10 on ARM is, is a desktop-type experience,"

Ha!

It's hardly a desktop experience on 1920 x1080 laptop. Unless you are thinking of Windows 2.0, GEM, Lisa in 1980s as being rich, productive "desktop experience".

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Mage
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Re: Unequal Partnership

But MS killed the Kin earlier.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

x86 support is coming to Windows 10 ARM phone

"The big problem is all of that unmaintained software that was bought decades ago and still needs to run somehow."

Good luck trying to run it on a phone, even if it has an x86 cpu.

This is a pointless piece of marketing.

How many people are going to buy a WINDOWS and ARM and PHONE device to run a real windows desktop program? Especially a legacy one.

The market too for any sort of Metro/UWP/Fluid design app is dead (horrible on desktop), and the whole point of that was to NOT be locked to x86 code.

So exactly what real world problem does this solve? Making ARM Surface tablets with Keyboards to replace low end x86 laptops running native/legacy x86 desktop programs instead of Metro/UWP/Fluid design app? Madness.

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UK mobile number porting creaks: Arcane system shows its age

Mage
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Unhappy

Porting in Ireland

Seems to work in minutes. By the time you leave shop with new SIM in old phone. Most shops will also for free copy the SIM based contacts in a SIM data copier too, for free.

Three is rubbish to deal with. Everything from customer support to running/maintaining infrastructure is outsourced. Their advertising is misleading. Yet Comreg only considered "Competition" not competence and approved the takeover of O2 Ireland by Three.

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Mozilla hoping to open source voice samples for future AI devs

Mage
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Re: Once upon a time ...

Yes, oddly there are Open source Speech recognition tools on Linux already.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Support

I hardly believe this as the SAME computers would STILL be getting win7 and win 8.1 updates. Computers that MS practically forced Win10 on. Though I can't believe it is a conspiracy to make people buy new low end laptops / netbooks.

I ascribe this to MS stupidity. Like Ribbon, B&W GUI with no highlight/shadow on buttons and no way to see what on a window is clickable.

Also hasn't MS stopped support for * x 600 resolution on newer OS? (Anything less than 768, which does work with Linux if you set the desktop settings properly and use say Mate).

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We'll hit THAT 95% Sigfox coverage target using telly aerials, says WND-UK

Mage
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Intel laptop CPUS

Better not use Clovertrail and Win10.

Or Intel CPU "bricking" in embedded stuff.

ARM would make more sense.

Actually, roof top Yagi is about 16x more spectrum efficient and easily x4 range (at higher speed) than typical indoor smart phone aerials. So there is quite a bit of logic. The install expense (unless user DIY) is about £150 more per site than posting "modem/rounter" like Three uses for their misnamed "high speed broadband" which is only mobile and a WiFi point.

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Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

Mage
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Unfair

Where is Compaq, DEC, Wang, ICL, STC, GEC, Zenith, RCA, Westinghouse (the bit that did TV & Radio), Mitel. Motorola and many others?

All those above are examples of already endangered behemoths before those women took over.

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SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

Mage
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Yes, a yawn

Moderately clever, but of more interest in 2002 than 2017.

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Thanks for U-turning on biz-killing ban, Ofcom – now cough up, say GSM gateway bods

Mage
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Coat

Home Office

The proposed Home Office ban is probably illegal, as the Ofcom one was. The UK would need to leave the EU, Single Market, ECJ etc to be able to legally ban these.

I'm leaving, on a jet plane (probably now registered in Austria). :)

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AI bots will kill us all! Or at least may seriously inconvenience humans

Mage
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Re: Inevitable

Wanting something and researching it does not make it inevitable.

Loads of examples where goals were found to be either:

Inherently impossible (Perpetual motion, increasing information on a channel indefinitely - Shannon Limit. Both are forbidden by Thermodynamics).

Inherently pointless (Transmuting lead to gold etc).

Probably impossible (FTL travel, Antigravity, Telepathy etc).

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Mage
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Re: Kurzweil at face value

His work in the 1970s and 1980s with OCR and text to speech, letting blind people read ordinary books was fabulous.

Now he seems to have more in common with the SF writer that started a "religion". I'd rate his brand of Transhumanism as religion. I wonder what he REALLY does in Google?

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2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

Mage
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Re: An important thing to remember with Internet of Things:

siot might be pronounced Shit in Irish as s is ALWAYS Sh (just as c at a start = k)

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Mage
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Re: Lets get Social

A poll on one popular UK newspaper site (not mirror / sun / mail /express) shows 61% of parents are still sane, agreeing that stuff about your kids should not be on "social" media.

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Russia launches non-TERRIFYING satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

Mage
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Re: Tracking info freely available

Or Orbitron (postcard-ware from Poland). For Windows, but works under WINE. Very pretty and easy to use. It downloads the TLE thingys.

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Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

Mage
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Joke

Hare says users are already seeing through the hype and just not buying AI

Such honesty. Will his company let him write public reports again?

We need more such frank analysis. I'm looking at you Analysys Mason, a consultancy company that helps market mobile products for Infrastructure and mobile providers.

Or Gartner generally.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

We are heading toward

No, we got there years ago when they started calling "Expert Systems", "Pattern Recognition" and big human curated databases with funky "natural" search stuff like "Cognitive" or "AI".

There is no AI in the sense that even 1980s Computer Science researchers hoped for in the 1980s. There is still AI research, though most of it isn't.

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Brit neural net pioneer just revolutionised speech recognition all over again

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: All human languages are undersandable by neural networks, as that's what humans use.

Rubbish.

Because "Computer Neural Networks" have little in common with biological neural "Networks" in brains. It's terminology inspired by biology.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

Good

Basically Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft are using 10 to 20 year old technology (envisaged 30 years ago) made accessible via gadgets.

It's great to read about some progress.

There is more work to do in terms of parsing of phrases and context so as to not just have fairly dumb (but speaker independent) Speech to text on an existing search engine. However that starts to move into the edge of real AI.

Compare using Google translate (essentially Rosetta stone + brute force), to your OWN language when it's a subject you are familiar with compared to trying to explain something to another language user (especially NOT English) who doesn't understand the subject. You'll realise that current speech based real time translation (needs voice recognition and then text translate) is mostly hype.

There is decent speech synthesis, but 2010 Kindle DXG is barely better than 1980s, and decent speech synthesis, like recognition, ultimately needs phrase / sentence parsing though for a different reason (intonation and timing which is not in written dialogue or narration and lead pipe vs lead on a dog, or polish wax vs Polish person etc). Spoken languages are not identical to written, certainly in English, where even written dialogue is nothing like real speech.

Icon of someone trying to understand.

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

Mage
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Re: C90 cassette, as that medium was the dominant way? No!

Yes, C90 was only dominant for LPs, as usually though not always, you could put a whole Album on each side. A C60 only allowed one LP with awkward winding and C120 was always more prone to jamming or chewing, the C120 also was only good for higher quality machines and compilations.

I think the C60 and smaller were for dictation, as the format was originally for dictation or audio notes in 1962 approx. The size and cost made it more successful than earlier RCA cassette (which is why it was a "Compact Cassette) or later Sony Elcaset (about 12 years too late). The 8 track was only starting to appear in UK in 1970s when Compact Cassette wiped it out. More common in USA with home players too, I have seen home 8-track players twice in UK. The 8 track would have been useless for home computers.

I remember the pressed records for home computers on magazine covers, like the inside of a 5.25" floppy with a groove. It was easier to make a tape from them than use them directly.

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Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Mage
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Re: "paying out the nose"

Hurling is ice hockey without needing pesky ice.

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Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Mage
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Alien

Existing Sentient claims

Will the ECJ or some other court arbitrate between competing claimants, inc. indigenous ones. Is it a case of whoever hires the most mercenaries first has the claim?

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Fake Newspaper steals Reg design to spruik storage upstart

Mage
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usability, for instance, is clearly not an IT skill

It's clearly not a skill practised (assuming it's taught) by very many product stylists, web graphic designers etc.

Or in MS since about 2003.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Mage
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Joke

I may have a problem Huston

perl -MDateTime -lE'say DateTime->from_epoch( epoch => 1_500_000_000 )'

Can't locate DateTime.pm in @INC (you may need to install the DateTime module) (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22.1 /usr/local/share/perl/5.22.1 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.22 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22 /usr/share/perl/5.22 /usr/local/lib/site_perl /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl-base .).

BEGIN failed--compilation aborted.

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Mage
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Re: spend all day everyday changing your settings?

No, I want to change them ONCE, when I unpack it.

Or change metering on WiFi if I move to a place using capped broadband.

Some things I'd like to change I can't

So now the w10 stuff has either been wiped (to an OS where I CAN change the stuff once!) or gathering dust.

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Mage
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Settings and Control panel

At least FIVE places on Win10 to go and change stuff. Some "settings" vanish according to window mode or how you navigate to them.

It's a mess. It's not even stable. Basic GUI aspects customisable for the last 25 years are gone.

Things are tucked away in inappropriate places. See setting Metered connection on your WiFi and setting and exception for driver downloads. Or ALL the GUI privacy settings apart from Policies or Services. Is that text a description or a setting? No GUI clues.

Anyone that thinks W10 is any good at all is only doing trivial stuff with default settings and doesn't care about privacy, stability, performance. productivity. If I wanted a chrome book, I'd buy one.

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Mage
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MS gave up on the universal Metro interface?

Sadly NO. UWP is the same thing except worse. Because now they sell less phones and it's stupider graphics style and less customisable. It's designed for a market that MS has lost and alienating desktop users. Where MS MAKES money.

it's a fact too, that an application is either designed for keyboard & mouse OR Touch or Stylus. Widgets are OK with touch. Serious application are crap with touch and tiring and slower with a stylus. Unless they are sketch centric.

The Win10 is a horrible mix of touch and mouse/Keyboard GUI, with a Tablet & Desktop mode that is stupid. MS touch has really improved since XP Tablet edition, if you have ONLY "modern" AKA Metro style apps (widgets) and Tablet mode on a 7" or smaller screen.

MS Stylus has hardly progressed for REGULAR applications on Windows since XP Tablet edition.

You have a few flagship surface stylus programs, the phone style tile based apps and then the bulk of productivity software needs keyboard and mouse for day long use. It's attractive in showroom or the first few days, then it it's crap compared to Windows 7.1 or Linux or XP or older OS X versions on laptops or ultrabooks.

Nice HW, but where is the widespread innovative application support and a consistent GUI? Changing the things you still can change in Windows 10 is mess. You sometimes even have to run powershell scripts to re-fix edge after updates.

People that think W10 is good obviously have little experience PROPERLY setting up computers or using alternate versions of windows (properly installed), never mind OS9, OSX, Linux, NT4.0 etc.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Still no.

The can't make up its mind if it's for a phone, tablet or desktop OS kills it.

The appalling lack of GUI customisation for user kills it.

The appalling updates model kills it.

The default slurp everything to MS kills it.

The increasing emphasis on turning Windows Cloud based like Chrome OS and unfinished and more for consumption than creation like Android kills it.

A nice idea staggeringly badly done.

I have Lenovo Tablet/laptop with Wacom stylus & touch screen. It was garbage with Win 10, almost reasonable with Linux Mint + Mate + Redmond theme etc.

I have Linx x86 1010 tablet with Keyboard and Win10. No doubt the surface is far superior HW, but can the Windows 10 be that much difference. Worse than Vista or ME. I've used EVERY windows since 2.0 and Windows 286. Windows 3.1 was first usable, In many ways Win 10 is worse.

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WD gets court order: Toshiba can't block access to shared database

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: That's an Imperial Gb not the fancy metric Gb

It's nothing to do with Metric and Imperial.

RAM and ROM from the beginning used binary addressing. Thus 10 wires = 1024 addresses. "Proper" k, M, G is 1000, 1000 x 1000 and 1000 x 1000 x 1000. Floppy drives and Hard Drives didn't originally use fixed physical address lines, but cylinders (basically tracks x heads) and sectors per track and then what ever number of bytes fitted into a sector. Floppy disks might even have had a hole to mark each sector, or start of all sectors. Density was thus lower at outer edge. Later they varied the number of sectors upwards as you moved out from hub, but the controller mapped the old system to the real geometry.

So spinning disks count actual number of usable bytes and use multiples of 1000.

RAM and ROM and CPU address line capacity are more naturally counted as multiples of 1024

see Wikipedia Mebibyte a largely ignored attempt to end the confusion.

So nothing to do with Metric and Imperial, but simple convenience for semiconductor addressing.

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Mage
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If it's miniaturised to SD cards ...

Already people are putting 256 G SD cards in stupidly under-provisioned Win10 x86 convertible tablets.

Sure there is a market in ultrabooks and HD video cameras too.

The silicon vias may be cheaper than wirebonds once yield is up.

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If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft pushing its magical white space broadband

Mage
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Devil

white space broadband

So called "White Space" transmission is greed, interference producing and should be illegal forever, everywhere*. It shows a fundamental disregard for mathematics and physics. Ultimately Thermodynamics.

It's Spectrum theft from legitimate users.

It can ONLY work if (1) EVERY receiver of EVERY application in the spectrum is reporting in real time to the Internet and (2) no so called "white space" transmitter uses a channel without real time Internet interrogation of the central database.

(1) Isn't possible, nor practical for existing spectrum users.

(2) is open to abuse.

It's corporate greed, as is proposal for LTE on ISM bands (WiFi bands etc).

[* Though if MS pays Ofcom enough they will allow it after 2019 even if illegal under ITU rules.]

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Dell gives world its first wireless-charging laptop if you buy $580 extra kit

Mage
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Re: I've never understood this

The charger pad adds extra bulk for longer term travel / multiple locations and SHOCK still needs a PSU and wire!

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Mage
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Pedantic ...

A) It's not wireless, it's inductive.

B) It makes it LESS portable.

C) The so called "Wireless" charging plate needs a cable and PSU brick or wall wart identical to a direct connection.

Adds extra cost, less reliability for dubious advantage compared to a dock or direct cable. It's mere hipster fashion.

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Trump tramples US Constitution by blocking Twitter critics – lawsuit

Mage
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Or

Options:

Ban Trump from Twitter.

Ban Twitter.

Ignore his tweets

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Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Mage
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Re: Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

Disable prefetch and fast startup if you can. Both evil, especially for SSD, Flash, SD cards etc, any system not using single OS and spinning disk. Even then your OS may be better without them.

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Mage
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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Essentially 21st C version of the old MS Services For Unix, slightly updated.

if you want to dual boot, or run Ubuntu in a VM on Windows (the reverse is better), then get Ubuntu or any other Linux distro (or BSD etc) in the normal way.

Windows Store is like a copy of Nokia's pointless store for Symbian (which resulted in REDUCED functionality -- widgets killed -- and making it harder to download S60 apps from random websites. iTunes only worked because it existed before iOS and there wasn't a pre iTunes method. Practically the same exists for Android). Windows Store is a broken concept for x86 Desktop PCs. The phone and ARM Tablet MS OS should NEVER have been called Windows (It was Windows CE originally). MS attempt to take control of distribution sucks.

Their new EVERYTHING is 365 will piss people off too.

Absolute morons.

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Mage
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Faster by using Windows download?

Ha!

I have found MS downloads very slow compared to the Linux distro mirrors.

I found that trying to install ANYTHING from Windows Store breaks the Store App -- and all other "metro/modern" apps on Win 10. Attempting to repair Store app: This app can't be repaired please download an updated version from Windows Store.

Sorry MS, but you are now rubbish. I prefer to install Wine, Mono, MS Fonts etc from LINUX distros on Linux for the legacy Windows Applications I still use.

Win 10 is a bad copy of Android now. At least with Vista you could customise it! ME was better than Win10 and Windows Store.

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GSM gateway ban U-turn casts doubt on 8-year prosecution in Blighty

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

He broke the law?

Really?

He's been charged, but the case isn't proved. Ofcom has been in bed with major telcos for years (Regulatory capture). Ofcom opposed the end of the Roaming Charges (which had no real basis in costs). Ofcom's regulation was probably illegal.

He's not broken the law till it's proved in court. The CPS taking a case is not proof of someone breaking a law!

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Is this a hotdog? What it takes for an AI to answer that might surprise you

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

So where is the AI?

You tell a database which are pictures of hotdogs and which are not hotdogs. You need a lot of pictures.

Maybe you better also show (store / process) clip art too. Children's drawings. Where do you stop?

Then at run time you have some image matching / analysis. Unless you are Humpty Dumpty this isn't AI. Marketing and the Tech industry can call it AI, but it's not.

How does a child recognise a hotdog and a not hotdog, maybe after seeing only one? Also somehow we must have a conceptual 3D model as we don't need (usually) any particular viewing angle.

The described project is interesting and I think an example of what so-called AI can achieve today. Machine Learning = Human curated database.

See Computing Tasks

Do read the mouse hover caption

The so called AI task might not be achievable, or it may be fragile. Cyclists and Kangaroos.

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While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Mage
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Re: let me guess...

However ideally co-sited with fission reactors as the excess neutrons can be absorbed by radioactive waste, generating heat, then steam for electricity. The waste is converted to less radioactive materials. So the main fusion reactor doesn't have to have net output if paired with a fission reactor.

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Microsoft offers cloud to Baidu, gets autonomous car in return

Mage
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Hype

or Fantasy?

MS thought a chat Bot was a good idea because TenCent

MS thought slurping people's privacy and making Windows like a partially finished phone OS was a good idea because Google, Facebook and Android.

I'm not sure where MS got all the other stupid it's been moving into since 2003.

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European MPs push for right to repair rules

Mage
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Happy

Re: Battery Capacity

It can be 50% after 18months. It's number of cycles and temperature. A sealed in battery will not meet SOGA requirements for all customers.

An eInk Kindle or Kobo may use same sealed in LiPoly cell as a phone, but charge cycle can be week to a month vs daily for a smart phone with unlimited or high data cap. If your signal is poor and you use WiFi and and BT on all day then you may charge when you get home and again going to bed, and some users will only see 1 year battery life. But an eInk reader with same cell might last 5 years or more. Screens get broken.

I use my ancient Soiny Z1 with WiFI off, BT off and only about 1 or two calls a week, so I often only charge once or twice a week hence replaceable battery is ironically fine and nearly four years old? (The original).

My Inspiron 8200 was used from 2002 to 2016, so no surprise it's on fifth battery pack, it's on 3rd keyboard and I replaced case once by buying a scrap compatible model.

You can buy replacement NEW casings for 2 way mobile radios. Quite old models. Also Yaesu is very good for replacement parts for Amateur and Vertex Radio gear.

Most consumer Electronics companies don't want stuff to be repairable. There is also the issue that a new TV or BD player is cheaper than a repair. Repairs need to be subsidized to reduce scrapage, so called recycling. But most expert repair people have retired. Most places you'll only get a screen on popular phones replaced. Forget eInk or anything uncommon.

Fridges and microwaves are rarely fixed, even though they are very repairable. The parts are too dear and to pay proper technician with training, tools, insurance etc is more expensive than a new one. Forget kettles, coffee machines, toasters. Unless you learnt all this stuff 40 years ago and have an attic full of stuff you never threw out to cannibalise for parts.

So this is worthy, but we need something more radical to have real repair and reuse rather than so-called recycling, were much isn't. Though car batteries are a success. It would be even better if the case was re-usable. They currently are not.

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Mage
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Re: Related topic

Though there is the fire issue if toy dropped and there is a short. Even Alkaline cells won't set the wires on fire. NiMH will. I've tested this out of curiosity as the toy actually had a warning label not to use rechargeable batteries. I worry about the Lithium Iron PP3 9V replacements, I must get one and test.

Tesco sells, or has sold DAB radios / Alarms that work on 5V external or 4 x AA cells (less than 6 hrs listening!) They don't work with even fresh NiMH. They can't be fully utilising the Alkaline cells as the end point is 0.9V, so that''s 3.6V. Four charged NiMH are about 5.4V fresh on load and recommend end point of 1.1, that's 4.4V in series to avoid reverse charging a cell.

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Mage
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OLED screens

They are short life as they are only LED like, it's really electroluminescent. They wear out.

Most "LED" TVs are LCD, with various kinds of LED backlights (from ghastly to good). Real LED TVs are either the size of large exhibition hall wall, or nearly as expensive if room sized (Sony Crystal).

Over-run edge lit LED backlighting does fail.

CCFL LCD backlight can last 15 years, but goes a little yellow. Cheap LED backlights go purplish and tend to be very uneven.

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Mage
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Re: Following the trend

I liked the long gone IRC style text chat on Skype. Current design is ghastly,

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Mage
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Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

Products where next version was worse:

Office 2003

Visio

Windows XP

Visual Studio (Various times)

VB6

Skype

MSN Messenger

SQL Server 7.0

Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Win98SE -> ME

NT 3.51

Windows 7

Windows 8.1

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Mage
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Re: Hangouts

Google makes MS look sane and honest.

They have the attention span of a mayfly. Any Google product might be gone next week. All spy on you to monetise you for their main business, selling adverts.

There are other problems with Hangouts too.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Skype Alternatives?

I tried QQ, but the Linux version is only Chinese and and the Android version seems intermittent on Play Store. It seemed OK on Windows (even old versions MS doesn't let Skype on, or that use 100% CPU with Skype), but persuading others to move is a problem.

What about Ring see ring.cx ?

Also I use text message on skype and file transfer more than calls and rarely use video, so a SIP or Video only is no use.

Why is Skype now insiting it's web based and transferring files and images to skype.com and wanting a web browser log in even when both people are online?

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Mage
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Office

Last decent version was 2003. The Ribbon and now deleting little used but important features killed Office for me.

I never used Access or VBA or Macros (all evil) so changing from Office XP to LibreOffice was easy (do edit all the defaults).

Why does Skype now create cookies on Win10.

Why does Windows Skype have stupid "Home" screen and adverts (both removable).

Why does a new install of skype destroy your existing account profile avatar.

Why is Skype on task bar like an open program and not in Notification area like it used to be (and still is on Linux).

Why are they killing Skype Phones, Skype on embedded stuff and killing Linux skype to replace Linux version with a nastier one?

Because MS are obsessed with phones, where they have < 2% market and are determined to abuse desktop users.

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