* Posts by Mage

7558 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway

Mage
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Re: V2000 Philips

It was REALLY late to market. It eliminated guard bands by using piezo mounted heads that could dynamically wiggle. So could use a flippable tape as well no noise bars for still or slow and speeded play (which changes angle of slanted track hence noise bar on Betamax and VHS)

Problem was they couldn't mass produce it for about 2 years after prototype demo!

Early VHS had to completely delace from drum to F-FWD / F-REW, Betamax didn't need to. Later VHS had the "Jet Drive".

Shame Minidisk never made it as alternate to Floppy, though a larger MO sony format was used in special 3.5" drives in 1990s (ZIP drives in comparison were rubbish). There was a Vaio with mini-disk but like net-MD player you could only transfer digital audio TO it and play, Even your own analogue recordings were not digitally readable on Net-MD or Viao due to Sony's BRAIN DEAD Entertainment division obsessing about DRM and copying. That's what destroyed MD. Artificial restrictions. Other people did make MD players.

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ARM's new Cortex-A35: How to fine-tune a CPU for web browsing on bargain smartphones

Mage
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Too big a queue and pipeline can slow down

If the program has a lot of branches/conditionals already fetched, then stuff gets discarded and it can be slower than a short queue.

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How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it

Mage
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Facepalm

can Twitter be used to fiddle the stock markets?

Silly question. Any news / comment on any platform can be used to fiddle the stock market if enough people that buy or sell the affected shares believe it.

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Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Mage
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Re SCART

Purely invented as a Tarriff wall by French. A TV had to have Peritel (SCART) to be allowed to be imported and sold. It was meant to be really cheap, which meant that the cables would easily fall off. It was a failure for intended purpose as everyone selling to France simply added them. They never really made to USA which prefered RCA connectors for EVERYTHING! (RF, audio, phono, Y/C aka s-video, composite video, stereo record / playback-- four cables instead of a DIN, component video, HD Component etc).

SCART could have done HD, but by time (much later than USA because PAL higher resolution than NTSC) HD came to Europe, copy protected Digital connections preferred.

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Mage
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Totally irrelevant fact

The first UK set top boxes were to add Band III (for ITV) to older Band I only sets (BBC 1 only) around 1955. Some earlier sets couldn't work if moved from London to Birmingham as they had only a single factory aligned channel.

Cable TV in USA was probably the first major set box market.

Fire TV and Apple TV are more misleading than AMDs 4 module Bulldozers as they are not TVs, no screen and no tuner. They are media streaming gadgets, not TVs.

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: SMP as we know it could be outlawed

Nonsense. It's not about forbidding anything other than misleading marketing.

The cores share parts(excluding cache and FPU) normally exclusive to a CPU.

It's certainly nothing to do with SMP either

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Mage
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Boffin

FPU

There are other important shared bits, not just the FPU. These modules are single cpus with some internal parallel parts to speed processing. They certainly can't work as two cpus.

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Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Mage
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Mushroom

"listen-before-talk"

Only works for clients sharing same base. Search "hidden transmitter syndrome"

This is mobile Telco greed and attempt to have people use phone on expensive Mobile instead of fibre fed WiFi.

No matter how it's done, it's wrong. WiFi already barely works. band sharing is EVIL.

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GSMA offers a share and share alike approach to the C-Band

Mage
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Mushroom

Greed

Mobile misuse the spectrum that they have. They shouldn't get satellite bands and especially not sub 700MHz.

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What do you call a spreadsheet with lots of negative numbers? Qualcomm_FY2015.xlsx

Mage
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Desired income source

Qualcomm hates manufacturing. They prefer income from IP.

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Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Mage
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Yes Transparent Alumina = Sapphire

Sapphire Glass

Been used for analogue watches for a very long time indeed. Problematic to make larger windows. Also while it's very hard so scratch resistant, a panel of it is easier to crack than some glasses.

It's interesting they have found a way to blend Alumina and glass. I'd have thought an alumina film on glass substrate (meta material) would be better.

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Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

Mage
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Windows

But ...

Weird. The OS that MS morphed into NT3.1 (there was no NT1.x or NT 2.x) and that was killed by Win95 having better driver support. There was the strange MS OS/2 + Lan manager in 1989 after IBM and MS split on the OS/2 deal. (sold for servers with win 3.0 workstations I think?)

Does MS still have that source and a licence?

Of course MS once sold a Unix too.

I'm too old. I saw all these when they were new. Where did I put my Cromix and Minix discs?

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Chinese fire up world's 'most powerful' drone brain

Mage
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Megaphone

Re: Raspberry pi

This a a Raspberry Pi on steroids. The original Pi is built down to a price and is barely more than an obsolete phone chip on a breakout board. The Pi series is fine for the money. But if you have more money and want a more powerful ARM with much more I/O then this is it. I wish it cost 1/2 as much though.

At a bit lower price this would be very nice for all kinds of projects where the Pi lacks I/O or CPU power.

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'T-shaped' developers are the new normal

Mage
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Mushroom

The developers of today

"The developers of today cut their teeth on Linux and OS X and they use languages like SCALA, Python and Ruby, instead of .NET and Java."

a) Only some

b) Irrelevant

c) Relevance of article depends if developing Web applications, Android Apps, iOS, OSX, Windows, Linux Clients or embedded code (which is very different for a 50c 8 bit CPU and full fat OS in TV, Router or set box).

The big issue as always is poor design and implementation. You can't test in quality. Crap untyped Scripting languages make spotting implementation mistakes hard.

My impression is that "pretty" is on increase last 10 years, quality, usability and privacy down. We don't seem to have progressed in security judging by the vulnerability mailing lists I have for all the popular OS, web client applications and Web CMS server apps.

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E-mail crypto is as usable as it ever was, say boffins

Mage
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Coat

Not really hard?

Ha!

I use thunderbird. I installed the extensions etc. Now, I've in the past set up secure VPN server on Win2K and also on Linux, generated keys and setup clients. Did it on port 80 so it would work almost anywhere.

a) I gave up on getting a key generated for PGP

b) No-one I exchange email with is going to even try.

It's really too hard. I've been setting up SW, since 1980.

Setting up servers & OS since 1986

UNIX since 1986, Linux since 1999

It's stupidly hard. People complain about how hard it is to setup decent WiFi Security with a good password etc. This is very much harder.

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Windows 10 growth stalls during October

Mage
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With Xbox and Windows Mobile users to come

Really they are irrelevant in looking at x86 laptop/desktop/notebook OS market share.

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The story of .Gay: This bid is too gay! This bid is not gay enough! This bid is just right?

Mage
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Gay?

It used to be feeling light hearted. There is no suitable synonym. Happy isn't quite the same.

We've been robbed. Why should the TLD belong to a subsection of LGBT at all?

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Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

killing a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process

a) It's just a shell on Linux to implement a browser based thin client.

b) It's really Google spyware.

c) It's horribly limited as a destop OS, it's really a "cloud" style terminal.

Android too is shell based on Linux optimised for small touch screens and is poor compared to a regular Linux Distro for a desktop / Laptop.

This doesn't matter, as a proper Linux distro is a better solution than Google's Chrome OS, which was never a real alternative OS.

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Patch this braXen bug: Hypervisor hole lets guest VMs hijack hosts

Mage
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Facepalm

entanglement of C macros

That was the FIRST thing I learnt, when learning Assembler in 1979, was that macros are needed by large assembler programming projects, but really DANGEROUS.

When I learnt C++ in 1987, then I learned that C macros are an evil throw back to Assembler.

1) Always check Array bounds / strings

2) Always sanitise stuff that uses SQL at back end.

3) Never use Macros, not ever.

What SEVEN years ago? That's 2008, over 20 years later.

Why is it that almost all vulnerabilities are continued implementations contrary to what was realised in the 1980s?

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'Profoundly stupid' Dubliner's hoax call lost Intel 6,000 hours of production

Mage
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Re: Phoning it in

Yes.

Sometimes they give wrong bomb location resulting in more deaths. (Omagh).

Personally, I'd never go to an evacuation point for a terror alert, a fire or natural disaster yes. But a terrorist is likely to put the bomb at the assembly point. Hint in the name. They are not attempting to take down infrastructure.

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Mage
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mastermind crimina

Ex Intel contract staff

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Mage
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No, CCTV, call box, DNA etc.

Original news 02/04/2015

"The phone box on Bath Road in Balbriggan from which the call was made was identified and sealed off just hours after the call"

""They were identified within hours of the investigation from phone records and CCTV."

Now the prosecution of one is complete

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Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds

Mage
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Re: Why stop there?

Octal would be handier than Hex, for hands.

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Cisco: The day of PCs is passing, cloud storage will dominate by 2019

Mage
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Facepalm

Cloud?

It's 3rd party hosting.

Been around since 1960s, but rebranded, free security agency monitoring, unknown backup and security protocols. Rental computing on less reliable connection than a leased line.

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Yahoo! crypto! queen! turns! security! code! into! evil! tracker!

Mage
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Wikipedia commons user sites?

I think for read once and cache locally mediawiki installs using wiki commons from mother ship the HSTS is used. I got cryptic emails from Mediawiki last night about HTTPS only and need for HSTS on Wikipedia.

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New DMCA rules mean you can fiddle with your tablets, routers, cars (as if you weren't anyway)

Mage
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Pirate

examined and customized by their owners

Presumably the DMCA only applies in the USA, so this is of interest mainly to our poor privacy-free American cousins.

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Oracle's Larry Ellison claims his Sparc M7 chip is hacker-proof – Errr...

Mage
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4 bits one in 16

So you try 16 times?

Or what have I misunderstood?

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Verisign warns new dot-word domains could make internet unstable

Mage
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"actual public benefit reason"

Yes.

I've had deep forebodings about this. It's so obviously senseless, destabilising and a money grab.

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FCC under fire over TV, mobile broadband signal interference fears

Mage
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place too many broadcast television stations in the wireless portion of the band.

What?

600MHz is a POINTLESS STUPID band for Mobile. Cellular needs small cells to have capacity. Cellular needs 850MHz to 2.5GHz to have controlled and decent propagation.

The problem is MOBILE not TV. 600MHz is an excellent BROADCAST band. Rubbish for Mobile. Too uncontrollable cell size.

This is greed.

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

Mage
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200ft

Zoom lens on camera?

Still, decent cartridges to down a drone at 200ft?

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WhatsApp laid bare: Info-sucking app's innards probed

Mage
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Big Brother

Collects stuff

I thought everyone knew this was pointless spyware.

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Preparing for IoT? Ask some old questions and plenty of new ones

Mage
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Big Brother

it wont work the first time around

Even if the 3rd or 4th iteration works, it's abusing consumers. Protective legislation will be non-existent or at best too late.

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Google and cable pals oppose LTE-U's spectrum grab plan

Mage
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Pirate

LTE-U

Yet another attempt at so called White Space radio. It doesn't work and can't sensibly work.

Project Loon is daft (I wonder what Google is really up to?), it doesn't scale and is a hazard, but LTE-U is disingenuous greed, theft and malicious.

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'iOS 9 ate my mobile broadband plan'

Mage
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Idiotic

How on earth did anyone think this was a sensible default?

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Ofcom won’t hold back in latest mobile spectrum auction

Mage
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Pirate

Morons

2.3GHz is OK for Mobile.

3.4GHz is too high. OK for WiFi or point to point or Point to Multipoint outdoor aerials.

700MHz is Broadcast. Absolute moronic stupidity. Cells that are too big for useful capacity. Even the 800MHz is dubious.

Developments in TV need 700MHz. Actually even the 800MHz would arguably be better for Broadcast than Mobile.

Ofcom wants to abolish Terrestrial Broadcast and have Radio & TV via Mobile Operators only as it's higher licence revenue.

Satellite, Cable, Fibre, Internet & Mobile are complementary to Broadcast. In reality the Mobile operators plans to to TV are actually just Subscription TV Broadcast in Mobile sized channels, Not Internet / IP.

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Google can't hide behind Alphabet, EU competition commish warns

Mage
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Re: How can you fight a monopoly which offers products for free

Maps, Android, Earth were bought in using Advertising revenue and changed to support Advertising. The Search originally was unbiased. Now it's gamed by Google to support adverts. Hence it is dishonest and works as a bookmarking service. It's not as good for real searching of stuff you don't know, but better at serving relevant adverts and listing places you visited before.

Street view was created to slurp private info, WiFi (not needed now due to Android) and support adverts on Maps. It's primarily capital expenditure, not technology, only justified by extra advertising revenue.

What sort of company needs a line like "Do no evil"? They might as well register "No harm done" too.

They are a threat greater than MS ever was. So is Facebook.

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We can't all live by taking in each others' washing

Mage
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Everything is the product of labour

I'm not convinced of this statement. Initially there may be labour. But after that an autonomous process. Can apply to a Robot Factory, automated oil well or burning forest and then scattering seed of something that doesn't need replanted every year. Or totally automated agriculture.

Surely many things will be the product of less and less labour, tending toward zero?

Sorry to see you go, Tim.

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Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Mage
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Re: cart before horse

"some low frequencies like maybe 75/150 Hz for the tones"

Not any multiple of 25, 30, 50 or 60 due to TV and mains. But yes, the signalling can be low bit rate FSK, or even spread spectrum below 300Hz as spread spectrum is more immune to interference and allows multiple controllers using different pseudo random hopping sequences. So an apartment or hotel isn't a problem. At up to several kHz any transformers won't make much difference and range is considerable with low baud rate and less than 300Hz. So apart from aspect of security, which isn't optional for anything, you need a scheme with no need for collision detection.

New switches would be paired via detachable IR USB stick (self powered) on controller direct via IR near the switch. The IR USB dongle would give the switch its address, unique hopping sequence and the encryption key used for the data.

The minimum baud rate is set by command latency acceptable for minimum message size which is set by encryption scheme (I suppose a key fob type scheme could be used to reduce message size). The actual amount of bits needed for addressing and data is tiny.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: cart before horse

The low speed networking over mains to smart light switches also unlike ethernet PLT creates ZERO interference. It also can be as secure as you like. I know someone that implemented secure signalling and paired devices for RC5 / RC6 IR remote protocols.

You don't even need 110 bps. RC5 or RC6 with addressing and security can be used over the mains, via IR to switch and also even 433MHz /3xx MHz for outside shed, wireless doorbell etc (world vs USA, I forget the USA frequency).

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Mage
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No

Still pointless.

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The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way

Mage
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Re: "... kerosene not diesel ..."

And the difference between Summer Diesel, Paraffin stove fuel, Kerosene, Winter Diesel, home heating oil, "jet fuel" is?

Versus Car petrol, high octane non-jet aircraft fuels etc? There is a good reason why lead is in aircraft petrol, makes the octane rating appear higher!

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Northamber: Windows 10 killed our sales momentum

Mage
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Unhappy

Sad end of era

I remember my Computer selling friend using them about 1981.

Not sure if the ACT1 he sold was from them?

The Victor 9000/Sirius 1 ran CP/M-86 and MS-DOS but did not claim to be IBM PC compatible.

It was far better. The IBM in 1981 only had 320K or 360K floppies and a horrible text only goldfish bowl monitor. No Clock or Audio. The ACT 1 had 800x400 non-glare graphics, audio, clock, 1.2M floppies etc. A giant step forward from Apple II, TRS80, Pet and CP/M S100 boxes. The IBM PC wasn't, it was little more than heavy expensive alternate for Wordstar/Supercalc/Visicalc (Spread sheets was the biggest selling reason for Apple II, CP/M, IBM PC at first. Letter quality printer were slow and expensive compared to MX80 to print a spreadsheet.)

I guess IT gear is now mostly direct to big retailers, phones, tablets, laptops.

Disappointing to read that thousands of schools a day are activating Chrome books.

MS & IBM set back the industry in 1981.

Windows 10 is a backward step, as has most of MS since 2003.

MS are also extinguishing SW resellers too.

OS and IT gear is going to have as much support as a TV set.

The "Channel" is doomed.

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Steve Jobs, The (real) Movie

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Oh! Oh! Aaaaah!

my ghast is phlabbered!

64K? No-one will ever need that much. Make the 16K standard and charge x5 the RAM price extra for 32K and 48K versions.

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BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code

Mage
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Facepalm

Ummm

The WHOLE point of the slabby screens and no keyboards is a good web experience.

Ditch badly written apps that are alternates to a website and only use websites.

Apps should not be alternatives to web sites. Design responsive websites not full of garbage.

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Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp

Mage
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Re: "So it would be impossible to use a snake to kill two or three people one after the other."

Three snakes, or else those nasty scorpions, or the really poisonous Geography Cone Snail (which sounds like a Terry Pratchett invention, but is real). The venomous variety of cone snail fires a poisonous hollow tooth at a fish. It grows them quick enough to avoid running short of dinners.

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Mage
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Re: Slapper?

More like saying a Texan was American.

The Former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia or the other bit?

Alexander (son of Philip) was a King (Basileus) of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

The Ptolemaic Kingdom (/ˌtɒləˈmeɪ.ɪk/; Ancient Greek: Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ Basileía)[3] was a Hellenistic [i.e. Greek] kingdom based in Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and which ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC.

In the early 5th century the royal house of Macedon, the Temenidae, was recognised as Greek by the Presidents of the Olympic Games. Their verdict was and is decisive. It is certain that the Kings considered themselves to be of Greek descent from Heracles son of Zeus.

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

Macedonia or Macedon (/ˈmæsɪˌdɒn/; Greek: Μακεδονία, Makedonía; Ancient: [ma͜akedoní.a͜a]) was an ancient kingdom on the northern periphery of Classical Greece and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.

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Mage
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Slapper?

Supposedly smart rather than pretty. There is no description of her beauty AFAIK in contemporaneous sources and the coins with her head were not complementary.

Also while she liked to big up the African and Egyptian stuff, she was ethnically Greek. See Alexander the Great and what the four generals ruled when he died.

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Laid-off IT workers: You want free on-demand service for what now?

Mage
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So ...

Which other companies to Sun Trust run?

So I can avoid any transaction that involves any of them. This is going to make RBS outsourcing (which ensued their system became more rubbish) look good.

When are these sorts of companies (all financial, insurance, stock etc) going to realise that IT is their core and crown jewels, that none of it should ever be outsourced and the programmers treated better than executives and traders?

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Is China dumping smartphones on world+dog?

Mage
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Boffin

Thanks

Interesting comparison.

I was reading earlier in the year how before WWI UK coal mining was uneconomical, and again before WWII. The wars made it strategically important.

You have to wonder if without economic coal and iron ore mining in UK, was steel production doomed anyway apart from carbon taxes?

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IoT's sub-GHz 802.11ah Wi-Fi will be dead on arrival, warn analysts

Mage
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Facepalm

900MHz

Only available in USA, I think, It's Mobile Licensed in Europe. (Was GSM and migrating to 3G and 4G).

Europe has a narrow channel 864 MHz approx (there are 2MHz guard bands either side, it used to be in gap between TV and GSM-R, now its a guard band between TX and RX on two mobile bands).

864-868 MHz is for Short Range Devices in Europe as alternate to 433MHz SDR. Again USA uses a different channel to 433MHz.

International standards on for USA are a bad idea, as the gear is made in China and sold everywhere. This stupid.

Long range can only sensibly used at very low data rate, or point to point or both.

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