* Posts by Mage

6455 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Oil and lube firm offers to ease pains of frustrated office workers

Mage
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Not Y Chromosome

How much time purely typing vs shuffling around.

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EU wins approval to waste €120m on pitiful public Wi-Fi

Mage
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Re: Pork Barrel politics?

At £120M?

It's loose change. About £1.2M on average per EU country per year.

It's a gesture.

If it was going to ONE company for something in one town you might call it Pork Barrel politics, depending on the circumstances.

Though tt is pretty pointless.

Fibre to home in Rural is about £200 to £1000 depending on volume and difficulty. Fibre can go on overhead electric or phone poles, up water mains, up sewage pipes, up gas mains, or be cheaply buried in a ditch by machine. It can be strung on grid cables without turning off the power.

There is nowhere that fibre can't be delivered today, more cheaply than copper phone or mains electricity in 1950s (In 1948 about 1/5th UK still had no mains electricity!).

Mobile and WiFi needs fibre today anyway to get the advertised peak speeds. Clue in name. Mobile should NEVER be promoted as "Broadband" but as MOBILE internet. Mobile might be on average 2 to 4 times faster in some areas if the "static" users had real broadband. The truly mobile users and especially voice call users are subsidizing "Mobile" data for the static users.

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Mage
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Re: public money to sort out normal broadband

Yes, they do.

The local National Governments have to do it and get scheme approved. Nearly impossible as incumbents such as BT and Eir "pretend" coverage and Mobile operators oppose it. It has to be proved to not compete with existing services.

The real problem is not the EU, but regulators that would rather promote mobile (licenses AND annual revenue from all existing Telcos/mobile based on market share). Governments would rather spend money on more "vote friendly" issues. They think no votes in Fibre to the home. (For above 3Mbps it's cheaper than copper for rural).

Telecom Regulators are cash cows for the Treasury. Totally captured by the industry.

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Mage
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FAIL

Operators repeatedly attempt to block municipality Wi-Fi

Not only that, they want Femto cells that run on YOUR broadband, doing LTE on the WiFi bands, so that:

1) They won't have to pay for a licence

2) Get naive users to use up their Mobile allowance when they could be using WiFi.

In "corporate" / hotel space it's sold as the idea of not having to manage public WiFi for visitors.

An increasing issue with any WiFi not your own is the Man-in-the-middle attack. How would you even be sure it's a Municipal WiFi spot?

The motive is laudable. However "outdoor" WiFi is of dubious scalability and value. More money for real libraries would be good. Loads of villages and small towns have no libraries. They can have WiFi in a library. More real use than one at the clock tower!

Also you CAN'T look everything up on the internet. What libraries that are here emphasize fiction too much and dispose of reference books because they are too old.

Journals are paywalled. Decent reference books are still better value on paper too, as the big publishers only give a tiny discount on hardback and eBook versions of reference material is often unusable even on a laptop, never mind an eBook eInk eReader (great for novels, useless for anything else).

Filling Libraries with Fiction, DVDs, eBook lending, CDs etc is now pointless. Lets make them be community reference and learning centres. I've been using Internet since 1987 and Web since 1994. I don't see it replacing proper library based reference works anytime soon. Except programming and programming language material (where books can cost €25 to €75 and be out of date) and electronics datasheets. For much other reference material the Internet seems poor. Wikipedia forbids "how to" and "Original Research", it's only good as a starting point.

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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Mage
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Re: The usual baloney

Actually the Romans gave Celts a bad press, they had a better (iron) plough with a knife to allow ploughing once (the Romans copied it later), fertilising with manure and crop rotation. It would take nearly a 1000 years to recover the culture the Romans destroyed.

Yes I know irrelevant. The whole "organic" thing started well enough but is now being exploited. It was a bad choice of label for food grown without artificial chemical pesticides, herbicides and polluting artificial fertiliser. Though perfectly natural fertiliser can cause as much pollution, spread parasites, kill fish cause algae blooms etc. We need sustainable farming practices rather than "marketing virtue labels".

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Mage
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Re: Alchemy

Sadly while you CAN change lead into gold, now, changing anything to approximately iron is probably easiest?

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Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Inspirion 7500

I'll sell it to highest bidder. It's an adult next year in January.

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Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

Mage
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Antiquated?

British postal and parcel services to GB and Ireland were better in the Victorian era.

I don't know how good the 18th was.

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Mage
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Re: Why?

Or indeed most of the stuff the USPTO approves.

It's SIMPLE.

They get more income from approvals and searching costs money. The "real" system is to unapprove by taking a court case.

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Mage
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USPTO

Bigger idiots than Amazon.

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'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

Mage
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Re: BBC Model Bs?

I was fixing the new ones in my 3rd job, young whipper-snapper. The computer in College ran George and better students were allowed to punch their own cards.

At school we filled out coding sheets in block capitals and got the printout two weeks later.

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Crapness of WannaCrypt coding offers hope for ransomware victims

Mage
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Re: Special folders -why?

Don't use them. You don't have to.

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Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

Mage
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Again?

Didn't they fail at bribing people to use Bing before?

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Mage
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Re: Victor, Vulcan etc

The UK did incredible stuff in 1950s.

Including one test of spaceplane idea by firing a rocket motor in a bomb bay, I think set an altitude record.

The Victor would look fine in a Alien's planet's war.

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Mage
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Reason dual fuselage

Probably purely to carry spacecraft centrally (heavy) and under wing. The US carried Shuttle on top to solve that. The Russian Buran was carried on top of a specially built Antanov, the largest one.

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Mage
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Advantages?

" The twin fuselage configuration offers the advantage of a clean payload area underneath the wing centre section."

I count about 30+ aircraft (most military) that have been twin fuselage.

"During World War II a need sometimes also arose for a heavy fighter, which could not be met by a new design in the time needed. Joining two examples of an existing lighter aircraft was one way to achieve this."

See also what are the advantages of twin-fuselage aircraft?

The first seems to have been around 1915. Most didn't meet expectations of performance. There would probably be no advantage in having more than two fuselages.

I think the single fuselage approach might end up like this family:

Vulcan

Still looks like SF 60 years later. Came in different sizes.

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Mage
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Re: Hang on... Nuclear

Lockheed Martin?

It's not that people haven't thought of it.

Try https://www.google.com/search?q=nuclear+plane+fusion

I remember reading that USA actually considered a fission nuclear powered bomber. Or why bother with "spaceplanes" at all? Project Orion.

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Mage
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Boffin

Interesting

I wonder why the tails are separate rather than sharing a wing,

See

Twin boom aircraft

Twin fuselage aircraft

It would maybe reduce drag (if no outer wing) and also make the structure more stable?

( I nearly typed Theresa May).

This is weird: Airbus patent

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Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

Mage
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Re: Bitcoin and Blockchain

I'm not.

Almost all of the Bitcoin problems are because it uses blockchain.

It's a solution looking for a problem, and not scaleable. So niche applications.

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Mage
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Alert

Three problems

Items 1 & 3 may not apply to specialist use of blockchain, except YOU will need to reverse transactions often, but NOT do it automatically.

1) It's deliberately designed to be absolutely anonymous. So reclaiming "money" in case of disputes is nearly impossible. It's of most use to speculators and criminals.

2) It's got a serious design flaw. Increase in processing & communication is WORSE than growth of N, thus not scaleable. This is due to no central control and totally distributed & anonymous nature.

3) The mechanism for creation of bitcoins.

Item two makes the "blockchain" design useless for any major application and pointless for anything controlled by one organisation, such as a Bank, government, credit card or Paypal. Anything solving these issues isn't "blockchain".

This is not new news.

The only real world problem the "blockchain" solves is ability to anonymously do transactions like handing cash to a random stranger. Like that, it's assumed you'd not generally expect to reverse the transaction.

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German court says 'Nein' on Facebook profile access request

Mage
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Re: You say that now

Except FACEBOOK rides roughshod over privacy, also of EVERY user of every website that has their evil scripted icon instead of icon and plain link. Not just their own users.

Facebook don't know the meaning of the word privacy. It's about CONTROL. They control.

I have a special notebook with all the websites I use. If I die (mysteriously or not), the survivors can pretend to be me.

If you are teen and don't trust your family, at least make a backup of logins and have someone mature and trustworthy mind it.

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India sets June 5 as the day it will join the heavy-lift rocket club

Mage
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Re: Ariane Unlikely?

Check it out.

Arianespace is a multinational company with headquarters in France. It was the first commercial firm to offer launch services, founded 1980. Its current launch vehicles are the heavy-launch Ariane 5, the medium-launch Soyuz-2, and the light-launch Vega. A new heavy launcher, Ariane 6, is under development and expected to start operations around 2020.

As of early 2017, the company has sent more than 550 satellites in space.

The European space port in French Guyana was started in the 1960s and now has a launch pad for the Russians.

They do have some subsidies, to compete with USA subsidies of Boeing, NASA, ULA and Space X.

Some major milestones in the 2000s include the last flight of Ariane 4 (2003), the launch of the Rosetta comet mission (2004), the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) launch to the International Space Station (2008) and the launch of the Herschel Space Telescope (2009).

Since 2010, Arianespace has launched spacecraft for Europe's Galileo satellite positioning system, debuted the Vega and Soyuz rockets, and completed the ATV launches to the space station. As of February 2017, Vega has flown nine times (all successfully) and Soyuz 42 times (with 41 successes.)

Space isn't just USA and Russia. China is catching up with USA. Japan and Israel are active. NZ has done a test. India is doing VERY well (see Mars). UK is the ONLY nation to achieve space capability and abandon it. Also only nation to achieve nuclear weapons and reactors and abandon both.

Over 50% of commercial satellites in operation have been launched by Arianespace.

http://www.arianespace.com/about-us/

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

It's separate to the amazing ESA. ESA is part funded by EU, but not all members are in EU, and not all EU members are members of ESA. Canada is an associate member of the ESA.

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

CNES is the French equivalent to NASA.

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

It's a shame that an article about the wonderful achievements of India should give so much prominence to USA (who are BRILLIANT at PR) and no mention of Arianespace, the world's oldest and most successful commercial space launch company.

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Mage
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Re: Ariane

Oops power of ten / units fail

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Mage
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Ariane

The majority of satellites launched and in orbit are by Ariane. Yet no mention, despite listing systems that have never flown? A very anti-European article.

On 4 May 2017, Ariane 5 performed its 78th consecutive successful mission since 2003

Carries 6.9KT to 20KT depending on orbit.

Current Falcon 9

As of 15 May 2017 the Falcon 9 Full Thrust version has flown 14 missions, all successful. The first stage was recovered in 10 of them. One Falcon 9 Full Thrust was destroyed during pre-launch tests and is not counted as one of the flown missions. Similar or maybe 10% more capacity to Ariane. US subsidised.

Bit of a cheat not counting failed launches. How many were commercial?

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Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

Mage
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We walked away distinctly impressed.

Why?

The changes seem to be eyecandy.

A camera with a monthly fee and needing 3rd party server is a fail.

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Event horizons around black holes do exist, say astroboffins

Mage
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Re: Clever Chap, Einstein

Maxwell was credited by Einstein. His equations proved c as a constant, he almost had special relativity. If Einstein had known non-Elucidean geometry, he have had general relativity 9 years quicker. His first major paper was actually quantum related, the Photo-electric effect.

So yes a clever bloke.

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Ransomware realities: In your normal life, strangers don't extort you. But here you are

Mage
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Devil

DVD can't be 'encrypted',

Depends on if the computer is infected before or after you make the backup.

Cunning ransomware will encrypt backups before announcement and locking in use files. An OLD trick for trojans even back in tape days (though it wasn't ransomware).

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Mage
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Facepalm

Backup

Backups that overwrite backups aren't proper backups. Especially Automatic ones!

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Millimetre wave.. omigerd it's going nowherrr.. Apple, you say?

Mage
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Consider satellite TV

It's a pretty big dish. Two way is bigger, it's MUCH lower modulation complexity due to the poor signal to noise (fewer bits per Hz), also unless you are very far north (or south on southern hemisphere) most of the path is outside the atmosphere. See what size dishes they use Sat TV in northern Alaska, Northern Canada, Northern Norway.

The rain path on most satellite TV isn't even a mile.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Forget Apple pixie dust.

Except for a point-to-point on the rooftop or a "WiFi" or Femto cell on the ceiling, the mm waves are useless. I don't care how clever you claim the aerial is, it's physics.

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How the Facebook money funnel is shaping British elections

Mage
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Big Brother

Facebook

The cat overlords must pay Zuckerberg a lot.

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Mage
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Devil

Malicious Manipulating Megacorps.

Online Video and text should be covered by SAME rules as TV broadcasting and printed papers. It's mental they think it's not. It's only a delivery mechanism. Arguably a more dangerous one, as everyone gets the SAME thing on broadcasts and printed media. How do we even know that <party> is even making the same promises or pitch to everyone? Any online campaign MUST by law be the same for every internet user or it's a lie.

It's Google 3rd party funded orgs and lies that have got Governments in the West to treat online differently.

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Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

Mage
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45 years and of automating all human jobs in 120 years

Ha ha!

Any forecast for tech that doesn't actually exist is meaningless.

Any forecast for more than FIVE years away is inaccurate, 10 years is fantasy. Researcher Translation

Worthless crystal balls: Future according to Google Search results

Stupid forecasts: Extrapolation

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EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

Mage
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one common set of audiovisual rules across the EU

Logical extension of Broadcast sans frontier directive, though the slow death of MW & LW means EU radio (esp due to DAB) is getting more ghettoised.

I use multiple satellite receivers and the little "itrip" FM tx (CE marked) intended to connect MP3 / Phone to FM radio. The €4 ones run of 5V (PSU or USB) are fine. Then FM radio works anywhere in house.

Much less choice at night MW on car radio than used to be, and BBC R4 LW seems erratic power, few radios even have LW.

DAB radios are useless with often only 10 FM presets (not enough for local FM) and no AM.

Without decent broadband, using streaming is impossible, not practical in car. Erratic compared to FM, DAB, Satellite and AM.

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Mage
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Happy

Axed Geoblocking

"if a consumer is signed up to Canal+ in France and travels to Germany, they will be able to access their TV Everywhere account. Which of course does not help Canal+ sell its content in Germany, but it is a step in the right direction towards consumer protection."

Yes it does.

And helps sell it in France.

People travel.

Sadly after 2019 this will not apply to UK.

In other news the "Evil" EU is having:

* Better refuge / asylum controls, though the UK problems (when May was Home Secretary) are NON-EU people, purely under UK Control.

* Better EU voice and Data Roaming

* Lower, harmonised parcel & letter prices within EU

* Action against predatory USA corporations exploiting privacy

* Better data protection.

Also loads of other good stuff that UK has often tried to block.

I've no sympathy for the USA and Sky (controlled by ex Australian USA Murdoch even without Fox take over). Their divide and exploit attitude (even extending to jeans, software and gadgets) is despicable. It was a COMMON Market before it was the EU.

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US laptops-on-planes ban may extend to flights from ALL nations

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: 'But it is a real, sophisticated, threat.'

It's about putting spyware on laptops of selected targets.

It's LESS safe.

Or else they are just stupid.

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Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

Mage
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Alert

Tulips

Victorian Railways.

Trollop: "The way we live now".

I'm also reminded of Anglo Irish Bank (which wasn't a bank).

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Mage
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Re: Wow - a motorised turret tuner?

No!

A mains solenoid. That's why it only went one way. The turret tuner was similar to other models with two biscuit coil packs per channel. Biscuits is the correct UK term. Black or brown coloured plastic with studs for connection.

Various 1960s USSR transistor radio sets used the scheme for wavechange. They always need cleaned.

The 1950s Hallicrafters clone of Zenith Transoceanic also has a rotary biscuit coil pack for wavechange. The actual Zenith is a mess of coils on the push button unit.

Very few 405 sets had FM Radio, because 405 Sound unlike FM on 625 was AM (though about 10KHz rather than the 4kHz or so on AM Radio today). So it had a lot of extra IF parts and a discriminator for FM.

The remote had volume (by virtue of screened cable.) and a single button to channel change. I think some early ultrasonic remotes only had a single channel button, but electronic counter to cycle through the presets, with neon indicators on the touch operated 6 channel TV panel.

A US company had a wireless remote for a radio with preset channels in 1930s. The input "device" was like a dial phone unit.

Even some UK 1930s radios had up to 8 preset channels. No remote. Some used a separate coil for each preset but some had a partial disk with adjusters and a motor that drove the actual regular tuning. You (the dealer) moved the mechanical stops to change the presets.

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Mage
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Re: For the older ones

Two channels.

Before 1955 only one in UK. 1955 is also when FM Radio started, which was only any point for the Third Program, or people in SE England with continental interference. Germans had MANY FM stations from 1949, because the Allies and Russians pinched most of the MW & LW.

Though I did once repair a TV (13 x 405 TV and 3 x FM channels) which had a cabled remote. BBC 2 had started, but the 4th FM channel (Downtown) was only on test. It clunked in one direction through the channels.

UK eventually had 4 channel TV when Ireland had 1.5 Channels. Except nearly half the people got the UK channels, even before Irish TV started late on 31st December 1961.

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Mage
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AC adaptor

Plugging the 12V PSU (mini coax) that came with one external HDD drive adapter into one meant to only have 5V is fun.

Also the output voltage and current is on the base with plug pins, tiny writing, low contrast, needs expensive magnifying lap to read. I use a metallic silver or gold marker on the DC plug and TOP of the PSU.

Also some are fine RFI wise and others wipe out BBC R4LW, most MW, most SW etc in most of the house. Same with LED lamps, CFL lamps, TVs etc. Yet some models are perfect. The Fcc CSA and CE marks seem irrelevant.

The newer 2, 4 or 6 "filament" style LED lamps seem to simply rectify the mains, no SMPSU, so longer life (no PSU to fail) and no RFI. They appear to have about 26 or 28 LEDs in series per "filament".

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Mage
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Re: HDMI-CEC

It's a great idea, but I've only seen two things that work with it.

I'm tempted to fill all the ethernet ports on every TV & disk player & setbox with blutack or epoxy putty in case a visitor plugs in the ethernet cable sitting there intended for netbook, laptop or Pi.

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Mage
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Re: A lovely tale...

Yes. Dabbsy. You have my sympathy.

I have a longer answer. But I decided I don't care any more. People seem to want to buy gadgets that don't work, use stuff that exposes their privacy and fill overly expensive phones with stupid apps. I've given up explaining the better way.

I thought Logitech might be interested, but apparently not.

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Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

Mage
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Flame

Re: sport ... or guns / the military.

Well, I know much less about sport than military or weapons.

I'm pretty sure you only shout Fire! at an archer if he's spontaneously combusting.

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Mage
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Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

I assume any US English I don't understand (or indeed British English) is to do with sport.

Great Boffinry by NASA.

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The revolution will not be televised: How Lucas modernised audio in film

Mage
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Also Sound / Video tests.

Most if not all THX logo on the case DVDs have a nearly invisible set up option for your screen brightness, contrast and colour (Shipped defaults are GHASTLY -- Switch off all enhancements and processing first) and for your sound system, which tells you all speakers are in correct location and DVD player / Amp is in correct mode /connections. Actually if your centre speaker has a subwoofer, you don't need a 6th amp channel and 6th speaker, it's just low frequency effects. Mathematically you actually only need four channels, but badly produced quadraphonics and three incompatible 4-channel systems in the 1970s giving "surround" a bad taint, was probably the reason to go for 5.1.

Dolby originally was a system invented to counteract poor signal to noise/poor dynamic range. The original concept of Dolby A, B, C not needed for digital.

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Mage
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Coat

Willow

Better than third Star Wars outing and FAR better than the later junk.

Fantastic sound track. Also you CAN MAKE OUT THE DIALOGUE!!!!!

What the hell has gone wrong with Cinema. The music and effects make my ears bleed and plaster fall if loud enough for dialogue, which is STILL poor. No difference on stereo head phones, BD, Stereo HiFi or even 5.1 with decent big wooden cased speakers. (Absolutely everything on modern TVs without external amp and speakers is poorer than an old lapttop).

It's not my ears. ALL the old stuff from 1930s to early 1990s, on VHS, Video Disk (yes I have some of those, early Star Trek) DVD etc are OK. I've no BDs yet with decent audio, as I haven't replaced any old DVDs with BD. I do gradually replace VHS with DVD.

I stopped going to Cinema once I had DVD and decent screen + sound. Pause for toilet breaks, no annoying heads in front, better sound, no rats, MUCH cheaper food and drink.

Actually I remember Josey Wales the Outlaw, Close Encounters, Star Wars, 50th Anniversary release Snow White. All fine sound and visuals, apart from rustling bags, people popping up & Down etc.

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Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

Mage
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Re: Availability of material on other services

I'd like DVDs that are a sensible price, instead ox x2 to x4 Hollywood recent releases. Like it's not like they HAVE to sell the stuff to recover the studio budget?

BBC & RTE seem very greedy on prices, esp compared to old ITV shows.

I'm not interested in subscriptions to ANYTHING now, and in the past only had Sky as the dish isn't speed and cap limited like rural broadband.

Buying individual programs mean you get what you pay for, and still have them even if no internet.

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Mage
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Beeb is to shut its online paid-for streaming service

I didn't think it had started yet.

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Your roadmap to the Google vs Oracle Java wars

Mage
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Re: OTGH

iOS is sort of distantly related to BSD.

However the OS is a separate issue to the Java like application execution environment.

"Fuchsia, according to original Android kernel developer Brian Swetland, is mostly BSD."

But what replaces Davik, or whatever is the execution engine for the Java like applications. It looks like Java when I'm writing an Android App.

I'm confused as to what Google's plan B is?

Ignore Oracle? Buy them? Wut?

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Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

Mage
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Re: Printing

Yes, my external SB USB sound box and Wacom tablet always install wrong driver on Windows.

My old Perfection 1200 scanner and SCSI card a nightmare on newer windows.

All "just worked" years ago on Linux (no need to look for drivers) and just work today on fresh install 64 bit Mint 18.1

USB adapter to 4 pole 3.5mm jack difficult on Windows and just works, no driver to look for to setup/read two way radios with Chirp.

RTL USB TV stick simpler to set up on Linux with Gqrx than on Windows.

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