* Posts by Mage

7760 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Which tech stocks are suffering and – crucially – why?

Mage Silver badge


Maybe you mean Friends reunited or Bebo?

Yahoo shuttering Geocities wasn't about money, If they were losing money on it they were idiots.

Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Mage Silver badge


People want usability, stability, reliability and same or lower costs. Not 'innovation" of itself. Instead we have a version of windows that isn't what is wanted (people just want an updated XP) and stupid ill thought out Intel security.

Battery life? Well, nice, but if you really care as a user you might be taking a spare pack... Oh I forgot, to make some of these machines stupidly skinny so no optical drive can be fitted the battery is glued in.

Unless life is 10 hours with Screen lit and disks whirring, do people care if it's 3 hrs or 4hrs? On a decent size and resolution 15" to 17" screen a lot of power is the screen.

Honestly I don't see much "Innovation" on laptops giving me a much better one than I bought in 2002. I don't care for a skinny one with only USB ports and ethernet if lucky, shiny instead of matte screen, no optical drive and 17" wide to get 1080 vertical resolution instead of the 1200 vertical resolution on a 4:3 15" screen.

There are some high end "retina" resolution models, but you need 17" rather than 15" because 16:9 instead of 4:3. I only watch video on a TV. I use a laptop to create stuff.

Inside Intel's CPU-level multi-factor auth (and why we've got deja vu)

Mage Silver badge

Oh dear.

So far I see no decent alternative to a separate password for each resource of style r2&Ha+bnjg^23 in a notebook kept in a safe place, not in the laptop bag.

You can't change biometrics if they are stolen.

A PIN isn't secure (I've opened a door lock by looking at which four buttons are more slightly worn).

Many personal details are easily found.

This is too complicated and inflexible.

ETSI, CableLabs ask telco SDOs to help unscramble the NFV egg

Mage Silver badge

NFV & Software defined

"Instead of a system like a base station being wrapped up in a piece of hardware, it's turned into software that can run in virtual machines on generic (for example, x86) hardware."

Absolute hype and nonsense. You STILL need the real hardware and networking software everywhere. The "Software Defined" is really just a meta management layer on top to more easily manage a system of networks, edge routers, routers, firewalls, home servers, base stations etc rather than logging into a unique interface on each one separately.

Internet of Things 'smart' devices are dumb by design

Mage Silver badge

Re: Home cloud?

It's called a router + firewall appliance. Mine runs OpenWRT or something as the cable modem is only a modem.

It doesn't solve the problem:

1) It won't make the data be encrypted if the remote server doesn't support encryption.

2) Doesn't easily tell you what is being shared. Especially if it IS encrypted!

3) I don't want ANY data sent to cloud.

4) Doesn't solve issue of bad use of WiFi (see doorbell article)

A home router ought to provide a VPN server by default. But how easily can user setup phone/tablet/laptop to then remotely access their IoT junk?

Win10 seems to be in same phone home category as the stupid photoframe?

Even a Kobo reader has to be edited by Calibre or else it tells Kobo everything. Additionally anything with Adobe ePub DRM. I don't sync my Amazon Kindle or use their cloud either. USB file transfers.

The privacy issues are worse than people imagine

Mage Silver badge
Paris Hilton


Well, there ought to be security approvals.

But loads of stuff already fails to meet existing standards as the Regulators fail to police after approval and in market devices don't match devices tested. Or the devices were self certified or 3rd part tested (with no direct regulator involvement), or not tested in a realistic setup, or tested in wrong category.

Or devices don't meet the minimum 2 years retail SOGA life in EU and many other countries.

So good luck ...

Recall: Bring out yer dead and over-heating Microsoft Surface Pro power cords

Mage Silver badge

SW company?

They HAVE sold keyboards and mice for a VERY long time. I've even got one MS Mouse that has an ISA card.

Crummy Samsung gear no one wants, now no one can get – well done, Apple

Mage Silver badge

Re: What about the second hand market?

It's only about new retail. Because the Second Hand phones don't use any special consumable.

People are STILL selling S/H Kodak instant cameras. Kodak had to withdraw them worldwide as they violated a REAL Polariod Instant photo patent. ... hmm better check.


After Land's instant camera invention was brought to market in 1948, a few different instant cameras were developed, some using Polaroid-compatible film such as cameras by Keystone, Konica, and Minolta. Others were incompatible with Polaroid cameras and film, the most notable of these being made by Kodak, such as the EK series and Kodamatic cameras. These cameras accepted a Kodak developed integral instant film, similar to Polaroid's SX-70 film. Kodak instant film was chemically similar to Polaroid with the exception that the negative was exposed from the rear and the dye/developers diffused to the front of the photogragh. This alleviated the need for a mirror to reverse the image before it struck the negative.

Even so, Polaroid brought a patent-infringement lawsuit against Kodak, and eventually Kodak was forced to stop manufacture of both the camera and film. [4] Kodak was also left to pay a settlement to customers who were left without a way to use their now defunct cameras. One settlement offered owners of Kodak instant cameras a credit towards a new Kodak camera. Many Kodak instant cameras still exist and can be found on auction sites. Kodak also lost the contract to manufacture Polaroid's negatives which subsequently took production in house.

Mage Silver badge


a) It's registered Design, not true patents.

b) None ought to have been allowed.

c) Even most of Apple's "real" patents are junk.

Twitter goes titsup

Mage Silver badge

Increases 100%

Facebook is still up...






America to ITU: Sort out your spectrum policy

Mage Silver badge


The 600MHz is regulator greed to sell licences. It's a band that makes no sense for unicast data. The range is too great and indeterminate for cell based concept of frequency reuse.

Even the 700MHz and 800MHz actually provides no extra broadband but just lets Mobile companies build less bases (with less capacity) than for 900MHz and 1800MHz.

Data / Unicast / voice of any kind, internet or not needs to be 900MHz to 2.6GHz parts of spectrum. Parts are already poorly uses due to regulators doing weak capacity and coverage demands in licences to raise auction prices.

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

Mage Silver badge

Move to China?

Most of the Apple Company is already outside USA and not paying much tax anywhere. Certainly not in USA.

Corporation tax is maybe too high everywhere, and specifically in USA. Tax the sales, the share dividends and corporate benefits and senior salaries and tax haven issues of corporation tax are reduced?

AMD accuses Intel of VW-like results fudging

Mage Silver badge

Re: It's not just AMD saying there's a problem.

The looking at CPU ID and then alternate blocks of code can be added by the compiler.

You're thinking of macros in source.

Apple evacuates European HQ after bomb threat

Mage Silver badge


Well, eBay, PayPal, IBM. Facebook, Microsoft etc are in Dublin. Maybe Google too.

Intel are in Shannon and Leixlip.

Apple are in Cork, the #2 city.

Analog Devices are in Limerick and Cork

Uber (are they tech at all? or a hackney service) are in Limerick (approx #3 city, though Galway might be #3 or #4 depending how you measure)

Dell moved from Limerick to Poland for bigger grants.

It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

Mage Silver badge

Useful science

How-to, recepies, own research, total detail etc are all banned from Wikipedia. It's only supposed to be at quiz table / coffee table level of info.

A copy would be nearly useless for the information to rebuild civilisation or how to make ANYTHING.

Some maths and science is OK. It's certainly not worthless.

Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Mage Silver badge


There are some quite different PICs. Some are ARM.

The 16 and 18 Series are the alternative to 8051 and AVR/Ardunio They are best programmed using JAL V2.




NXP do M0 ARM chips about same price as PIC and AVR. But some projects are so simple that a PIC or AVR is cheaper to develop and maintain.


The huge advantage is that switching PICs and setting the device options are easy. The team also have figured out most of the mistakes in datasheets. There is even a PCB that takes Ardunio shields (which are physically a daft idea!).

JAL libraries are good too, USB, FAT, SD Cards, Graphic and Text panels, Maths etc. You can swap between bit banged GPIO or dedicated I2C, Serial etc HW with JAL libraries.

An Ardunio is for people that can't solder veroboard or order cheap custom PCB from China. AVR and PIC are equally easy to use without that ecosystem.

Facebook is no charity, and the ‘free’ in Free Basics comes at a price

Mage Silver badge

Who could possibly be against free internet access?

No-one. But Zuckerberg isn't offering the Internet, but a walled garden, worse than the days of WAP in many ways.

His parasitical company is the gatekeeper.

Vendors reporting their cloud revenue with funny money

Mage Silver badge


It will end in tears. I hope not the end of civilisation.

KeysForge will give you printable key blueprints using a photo of a lock

Mage Silver badge

The old way ...

For years, maybe over 40, you could get a strong, real key for that old stiff lock from a photo by taking a photo to a locksmith. One used the Prison Officer's uniform buttons to get the size right first time.

Most 3D printers can't print a strong enough key, but I suppose any shoe and key bar can replicate the plastic printout in a couple of minutes with the key grinding machine.

BTC dev: 'Strangling' the blockchain will kill Bitcoin

Mage Silver badge

re: Paypal

IBAN is the cheaper and better alternative to Paypal outside USA. Many German eBay sellers won't take Paypal.

But PayPal and IBAN are NOT currencies, as bitcoin is supposed to be, they are more secure and cheaper modern alternatives to horriblely expensive Wiretransfer services like Western Union.

Mage Silver badge

Blockchain isn't the problem

While an anonymous electronic currency may be laudable, bitcoin is really a speculation and/or money laundering vehicle.

Huffing and puffing Intel needs new diet of chips if it's to stay in shape

Mage Silver badge

Re: Oh dear Intel are not making as much profit as they are used to

IoT and Toys?

No, that can't help Intel with their high margin power hungry chips. An ARM SoC can be be as low as 50c and run on a few AA cells all year.

Of course Intel does have great fab, great marketing, great production engineering and an ARM licence. Even after selling the StrongARM based range to Marvell, they did keep an ARM based comms controller.

It's not a matter of new markets for x86-64, those don't exist, but a matter of changing the philosophy of how they make money and from what. Ego.

Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart

Mage Silver badge

Re: @Fibbles

Probably, both, though I'm trying not to think about it. Or Dogs and human or table legs.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Natural behaviour

Bestiality in sense of cross species sex:

Yes it does exist in nature. usually males initiate it. Stallion and donkey is far more common than mare and donkey. I do know that Horses and Donkeys are not as unrelated as dogs and cats, or seals and penguins (been recorded, though the seal may eat the victim later).

Dogs are not particular either.

Is some male on male in animals a case of sex drive and lack of a female for a stronger male? It's not like as if we can ask them why they are doing it. It's dubious to read human motivations into animal actions as this story shows.

Really actually whether an animal does something, or not is irrelevant to deciding norms for human behaviour. We don't usually eat raw meat, or faeces, or piss to mark our territory. We tend to be suspicious of humans that do that. Similarly we don't expect to animals to keep the child in the nest for half its life simply because it doesn't find a mate.

After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

Mage Silver badge


Once you change the default settings the Mate desktop is the best I've used on Linux since 1999 if you want functionality rather than eye candy and you are moving from XP customised to be like Win98/NT4.0 classic GUI.

Good for older PCs too. The default Animated slide show log in screen makes login in very painful, but easily turned off.

2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Mage Silver badge

Re: Nice sum up.

Though on my Acer Aspire One 7" (plastic cut inside to fit 32G CF card and adapter instead of stock 4G flash) and Acer TravelMate 2420, the Linux Mint + Mate Desktop with animated login screen disabled is best. Adjusted GUI to be like Win98/NT4/XP classic (without rounded bits).

Mage Silver badge

Re: Moving on up!

Looked lately at how many TVs, Setboxes, routers and Servers run Linux?

How many years ago did BT swap Windows CE for Linux on their hybrid DVB/DSL boxes?

Mage Silver badge

Re: Linux vs ZX **

That old chestnut!

The majority of Sinclair users typed in listings or played commercial games. Very few of them learned to program. I did learn Z80 Assembler, 6502, 78C11, 8051, but used high level languages during learning to program (But not BASIC). I quickly progressed to Forth, Modula-2, Prolog on Z80. Various languages on PC, avoiding any serious programming in BASIC, save a test card generator for Spectrum, till VB6 and Option Explicit and writing programs only differing in syntax from C++, Modula-2, Ada or later Java.

Learning BASIC, or even Pascal or C++ language isn't learning to program either.

Microsoft's patent tumble: A kinder, gentler IP politics? No

Mage Silver badge

Re: US patents

It's entirely about filing it at USPTO and your lawyers. Not at all about real engineering or "good" patents.

Mage Silver badge

The Elephant

Given how little new physics and genuine innovation (I can count less than 20 in electronics in last 20 years), most of these are bogus patents. Either not really innovative, obvious to anyone expert in the art, already done etc.

Also how many are not "inventive" but what in UK would be simply registered designs?

How many are existing technology dressed up in a new description?

It's an intellectual war legal battle, not innovation. The USPTO idea is that companies and individuals test validity in court. This unfairly penalises everyone except International Behemothic Moneyed, companies and similar.

I can't believe that ALL tech people together in the world can come up with 1500 real patents for Electronics (any software, GUI etc should be invalid, only novel UI devices should be possible for GUI, and in reality there have been none of them since mouse & touch screens, or pens that don't use screen image optically, the Wacom type pen is pretty old, digitisers with a puck older. Light pens, touch screen and tracker ball predate mice).

Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Mage Silver badge

Oh frabulous day!

Welcome back, wondrous goddess of the code.

Now I must read the article!

Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Mage Silver badge

Re: 'ere we go

All LED lamps have a horrid gap in cyan part of spectrum, broad peak at yellow, narrow peak at blue end. They get bluer with age, the PSUs use too cheap electrolytics and fail. They often have inadequate filtering and only really beat CFL for efficiency in the cold or if a narrower illumination is required. You can make the Colour Temperature OK (though rises with age). Colour rendition is poor and they suppress melatonin at night, a lower power halogen better for late night reading (or if not dead trees, then Kindle/Kobo with LED front light off).

Mage Silver badge

Re: TCO?

The equivalents on lamp packages are a lie. This has now been exposed, though known by anyone expert for years. You need about 20W + of CFL or LED to light the same area to same brightness as a 100W lamp. Or about an 85W Halogen. 75W halogen is NOT same as 100W regular lamp, they are allowed too much latitude on measurements!

Mage Silver badge

Re: Sounds expensive

And so called White LEDs are ghastly colour rendition. PSU life and interference as well as illumination angle are an issue. CFLs/Fluorescent tubes though are poor in the cold.

One Ring to pwn them all: IoT doorbell can reveal your Wi-Fi key

Mage Silver badge


Why not tenth of cost lower power 433 MHz SRD with ASK/OOK and a unique address transmitted, so next door's button doesn't work your bell?

Then have an option module for bell unit (actually will work with any bell really) to add WiFi for phone addicts that must have door bell button on a mobile app.

EU lawmaker committees call for single EU telco regulator

Mage Silver badge

Re: Less bureaucracy?!?

Ofcom and Comreg's main function is to make money from Treasury due to Spectrum Auctions to Mobile Operators.

In Ireland all the Telecom operators ALSO pay annual "fees" to Comreg to "finance" them. Hence they make a profit for Government and ignore the consumer.

Look up "Regulatory Capture"

Mage Silver badge

I hope this it what it seems

Certainly Ofcom and Comreg only exist to benefit the Mobile operators and care more about big business such as Arqiva, Sky, BT and Eir than consumers or sensible allocation and protection of spectrum.

They are not doing the job that they were created for when migrated from Ministers of Posts & Telegraphs etc.

Qualcomm tries to figure out if Apple, Samsung made it anti-trusted

Mage Silver badge


Chips and products are only an inconvenience needed so their lawyers can extract maximum royalty from their victims.

Qualcomm's requests should be thrown out by the court.

Motorola cut in half! But still alive, and ready to live again

Mage Silver badge


Did they make record players for cars before they got into car radios?

I'm thinking car radios in the valve era (tubes) was their first thing... then later mobile two way radio, semiconductors etc.

Like HP, the current Motorola brand has not much in common with the original.

Philips oddly are back doing what they did before radio: light bulbs.

The Motorola Mobility (Infrastructure) is gone too I think to Nokia Networks (despite not making phones, Nokia is still a big company. Who knows if they will make toilet paper, rubber boots, TVs or Set-boxes next year? :) )

Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

Mage Silver badge

Re: Dumb Watch?

The Apple Watch is DUMB, as it's useless without an iPhone and needs charged more often than a mechanical one needs wound.

The Apple one is a less useful status symbol.

Lovelace at 200: Celebrating the High Priestess to Babbage's machines

Mage Silver badge

Strange connections

Mary Shelly was writing practically the first SF , Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus when Ada was a baby...

First Scientist & Electricity in fiction? (Volta invented Electric battery in about 1799 and wrote refutation of Galvanism, or Animal Electricity, such which was obviously an idea for animating the monster.).

It's a great pity that Babbage chose the mechanical calculator route rather than electrical relays, which would have been possible. (c.f. Conrad Zuse and Z1). The Babbage design wasn't really manufacturable with the machine tools of the time.

In 1814, Mary began a romance with one of her father’s political followers, the then married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont, Mary and Shelley left for France and traveled through Europe. Upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816, after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.


Who's laughing now, doubters? Cloud makers rake in £75bn in sales

Mage Silver badge

Cloud sales: Not new

How many users are really saving by using these services instead of their own?

The issue though isn't money. If it's not profitable it's not sustainable sales price. If it is very profitable, then many people can do it cheaper themselves. It's not like buying pay TV which if you think you need it, you can't make your own.

The real issue is should people be using the cloud at all, other than temporary files or ad hoc collaboration of non-critical nature.

Core Business functions shouldn't be outsourced.

What strategy is there if you lose internet connection, so called cloud provider goes down?

Privacy? Security? Backups?

The cloud is a hype and buzz world. The services are as old as shared computers. It's not a new business but a 50+ year old one that for 20 years has been migrating from expensive secure leased lines to insecure and unknown up time internet connections to access it.

T-Mobile US boss John Legere calls bulls*** on video throttling claims

Mage Silver badge

Mobile is the problem

They need to build NINE times as many masts to support the same number of people on 1080p as 480p

HD video needs cable or fibre, or else Mobile needs to be x5 more expensive to support a higher density of basestations = smaller cells = more capacity = more speed.

So it's about profits.

British bureaucrats are world's most social-media-tastic

Mage Silver badge

Best at Twitter & Facebook?

A couple of commercial parasites of zero value to the public.

They should be ashamed to wasting time on such thing. It's equivalent to deciding to communicate with the public only by the letters page of the Daily Mail and The Sun newspapers.

Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Mage Silver badge

Re: Just works

Yes. The Coffee pod machine maker discovered that people don't want DRM with Coffee

Mage Silver badge

Re: Good

"Because as soon as the authentication server goes offline (company folds, title deleted, etc...) then you've lost the game."

Then is the time to break the DRM. Yes, DRM is stupid. But enabling "piracy" while the system is active is childish.

DRM actually is contrary to Copyright, as copyright is supposed to expire eventually on any work. DRM is evil.

Mage Silver badge

Re: Good

Indeed, why doesn't she and the teams do something useful for humanity instead of wasting time pirating games? That only allows more people to waste time and deprives the people developing them. The cost to develop a game is extremely high compared to producing a book or music.

I'm 100% opposed to DRM, but this isn't the solution.

Wi-Fi standard could make Internet of Things things even easier ... for hackers

Mage Silver badge


It's simply adding a USA UHF ISM band.


If these things are made, then idiots will import them to Europe, add booster amps and Yagi aerials sold for fixed GSM 900 (common rural Internet in Czech republic in the past) and cause havoc to European GSM and 3G (Some operators are migrating 900MHz gear from GSM to 3G/HSPA, trials started some years ago).

Consumer Electronics seems to :

A) Lost the plot.

B) Not be properly regulated.

C) In Europe not enough "in the Retail Market" Policing. Many "approved" devices are not the same as the one approved, or tested incorrectly (Power line networking) or simply fake labelling.

Oh, Zuck off: Facebook under attack for its attacks on net neutrality

Mage Silver badge
Big Brother

Free Basics


If it can provide access to 100 sites, why not all?

Who chooses the 100 lucky sites?

This isn't Internet Access at all, but a Facebook Trojan?

Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Mage Silver badge

Re: UX / GUI

The GUI / UX has been going down hill in MS Land since 2004.





Flat & Tiles

PSP7 was the peak of decent GUI for Paint Shop Pro but lacked the drag line tool of Win 3.1 Aldus photo editor for picking amount of Rotation. I installed PSP X or 10 or something, and went back, Corel had seriously messed up UI consistency. Some Photoshop plugins do work in Paint Shop Pro 7

"Pretty" or "Minimalistic" of itself doesn't mean a good UX (ask Nielsen Group), Excessively Skumorphic, inconsistent, fragmented or Minimalistic (esp. flat) UI designs are are a failure.

Mint is now (esp Mate Desktop) is now maybe better than Ubuntu for UX/GUI. Windows is a GUI disaster now. Gimp only needs to get a bit better. It does, like Thunderbird, Calibre, Firefox, Filezilla, X-Chat, VLC, Open Office, Libre Office, Audacity and other programs have native Windows and Linux versions.

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