* Posts by Milo Tsukroff

71 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

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

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Yep, labeling the remotes works, except...

Yeah. Label the remotes. We do that too. Works like a charm. And then we too, like the D household, found that remotes move about - on their own. It's harder to find the one we actually need than locating the rats in the foundation of our house.

I'll be going now. Mine's the one with the big label on the back that says, "COAT".

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81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

Milo Tsukroff

The PacMan clone..

> the pac-man clone

was Munchman. Our first video game! My kids and I played that for HOURS. That, and Parsec, were the world to us. Unfortunately the crappy construction on the joysticks caused them to fail. We went through at least 3 sets, until we got the adaptor that allowed using an Atari-style joystick. Joysticks with microswitches worked much better. We broke a few of those, also.

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Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

Re: TI59

The TI-59 ... ahh, THAT was a calculator! I used one in my college years. Still have it. Although I use a Windows-based TI-59 emulator when I need a quick calculation or two.

Later on I bought a TI-99/4A and I was hooked. I LOVED that thing. Still have a number of them gathering dust in the garage.

One comment though: The TI-99/4A was one of only two REAL COMPUTERS to be released in the 1970's-1980's microcomputer boom. If you learned to program it in Assembly, as I did, it had a "floating workspace" which coexisted in the single linear memory space, which along with programs and data, also used memory locations for I/O. All addressed in the same manner as linear memory. This architecture is "classic" computer architecture. Only Texas Instruments and DEC released microcomputers like this.

All other micros used microprocessors, which have to move data from linear memory, to on-board registers, and then back out. This ham-strings their operation and makes them much, much slower. That was why the TI-99/4A ran acceptably fast enough, even with a horrendously slow clock rate. Of course, the sheer speed of microprocessors was so blindingly fast by the mid-1980's that it didn't matter about all the time needed to swap data in and out of on-board registers. Current speeds are so fast that nobody cares.

But "back in the day" it sure was nice to see that the TI-99/4A was using assembly language statements that could have come straight from mainframe computers. When the IBM PC first came out in 1981, a game released with it was Adventure. If memory serves me, way deep in the Wizard's cave are copies of LWPI magazine. That instruction, Load Workspace Pointer Immediate, is used in linear memory addressing. I could use it in TI-99/4A assembly. It DOES NOT exist in a microcontroller-based assembly language such as had to be used on the 8088-based IBM PC. That was proof to me that the Adventure game had been ported from a mainframe implementation.

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Hyper-V guest escape, drive-by PDF pwnage, Office holes, SMB flaws – and more now patched

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Still living in C++ Wonderland

Microsoft is still living in the C++ Wonderland, where the code is so hard to figure out that boss doesn't know what the programmers are doing. That's why programmers love C++. That's why remote execution bugs continue to abound. Simple, straight-forward, fully-tested, well-documented, and secure code? "Pah, that's for the ordinary folks, and we're far above the ordinary!" The old saying still holds, If houses were built like software is written, one woodpecker would destroy all civilization.

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Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Re: Vaping isn't cool

"...its wrong and misleading to say vaping is not harmful at all."

Yep, another doomsayer. Everything is "harmful" to one teensy weensy degree or other. By those druthers, even reading The Register can be a little bit harmful, so I should quit the habit.

I'm going now, mine is the asbestos jacket with the mink lining...

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Moldovan Dridex millionaires to spend 12 years in jail

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

In-country crime never pays, can't pay off the police

Those dumb crims ... in-country crime never pays, you can't pay off the police. Now if they were in any one of a number of foreign countries, they could a) pay off the police and b) claim that since they're not stealing from their resident country's citizens, they're technically not committing a crime.

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Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Milo Tsukroff
Flame

Far Too Long - thanks to Disney

Copyright is now 75 years from the _death_ of the creator. That's far too long. But thanks to Disney and its pron-scare tactics, the US Congress extended it that far. IMO, that's beyond most people's lifetimes, therefore effectively unlimited, and violates the US Constitution's requirement in Section 8. That reads, in part, "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;". It's the "limited" part that is now being violated. But in the US, the New Golden Rule holds true: He who has the gold, rules. In the case of Copyright, Disney holds the gold. 'Nuff said.

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NASA tried turning lost spacecraft STEREO-B off and on again... but it didn't work. True story

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

Impressive!

To quote a surprised Darth Vader, "Impressive!"

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What did we learn today? Microsoft has patented the slider bar

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Looks like Microsoft forgot about when Apple sued them ...

It looks like Microsoft forgot about when Apple sued them for ripping off the Mac interface with Windows. Microsoft fought back with, prior art, since the Mac interface ripped off the Xerox PARC architecture.

I also remember when WordPerfect and Microsoft Word were shamelessly copying each other's features, and every new release came out with more and better stuff. It was wonderful for us users. Eventually Microsoft out-performed and out-featured WordPerfect, IMO because while the WordPerfect menus were great, the product still used its historic and abysmally arcane key sequences. But that was when Bill Gates was still in charge, and he worked his tail off on making better products rather than lawyering up.

So maybe this is the case of trying to win the poker game by throwing down more chips than the opponent has. If Microsoft can take out Corel by out-lawyering them, maybe that's the game.

Okay, I've blathered on. Mine's the one with the hemlock needles in the pockets ...

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It's Gartner Magic Graph of Wonder time! And Google won't be happy

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Clearly the sub's had a few

Yep, noticed that too. Looks like a good time was had by all in Blighty.

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Ex-HP boss and US prez wannabe Carly sings about her dog on TV

Milo Tsukroff
Mushroom

HP lost its opportunity when Fiorina was in charge

The iPaq was everything the iPhone was ... but ... years earlier. Except that Windows CE sucked, was never fixed, iPaqs had to be hard-rebooted at least twice a week, and were slow to answer incoming phone calls. Complaints about them were met with the Service Dept asking, Was the device in warranty? What the dickens did that have to do with anything when the report was a bug in the OS?? And the icing on the cake was, it was Fiorina in charge of it all! When the iPhone swept in and did it right, the iPaq became a bad taste in the mouth. As my brother told me, "I'll never buy HP again". (I like their printers, though.)

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When the IT department is 'just another supplier'

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Remember when the PC took computing away from the IS dept??

Remember when the PC took computing away from the IS dept? It was application hell. So that's why the modern IT department manages desktops also. If each department farms out IT to the lowest bidder, you _know_ what's gonna happen when the unsupported app blows up ... ROFLMAO!!

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Re: What do physicists use?

I majored in Physics and loved Fortran. After working in accounting software for 35 years, I found that the best language for doing accounting is ... COBOL. Slow to code, runs okay, but when it absolutely positively has to work, or you have to be able to find the bug in a reasonable time, then there's nothing better. I've used or learned most everything else, from Assembler to C to Java etc. but COBOL is still the bee's knees when it comes to handling money. The economics of it makes sense: The financial industry just absolutely positively can not screw up their internal transactions. Unlike code like *cough* Windows *cough* which after running a really really long time (we're up to a week and half on the average now!) starts to corrupt internally.

'Nuff said. Mine's the raincoat made from a garbage bag.

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Light FIXTURE will affect the sound!

A speaker is a sound device. It mechanically couples to anything it's firmly attached to.... in this case, the LIGHT BULB SOCKET. Meaning, that the SOCKET and LIGHT FIXTURE is an integral part of the sound-creating system. There are so many different types of light fixtures that ... who can predict how it's gonna sound?

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Pwned so many times - but saved by the incident response plan

Milo Tsukroff

Bravo - well said

Well said - I thought it was just me that feels like I can't keep up. Well it's true then. Just do the best I can and reach for the phone to call an expert when trouble happens. Great article and another reason why I keep reaching across the pond to read The Register.

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Vultures victorious in virtual vote vis-à-vis virtualization views!

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Golden Dropping? Vultures VOMIT!

Golden dropping?? Vulture VOMIT when they need to.

I'll get me coat.

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Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Got that title slightly wrong...

The new Register format is definitely taxing the staff, and the title for this article is not up to snuff. It's supposed to be, "(But where are the _frikken_ lasers?)" Dr. Evil and all that....

I'll get me coat...

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Malware analysts tell crooks to shape up and write decent code

Milo Tsukroff
Black Helicopters

Who's more evil - the hackers or these analysts?

This article only goes to prove the point of all those conspiracy theorists out there, who have said for years that the anti-virus industry was working hand-in-glove with the virus writers. So these analysts want to HELP the hackers write BETTER code? Cue the black helicopters, and, "Shut 'er down, Clancy, she's pumping mud!"

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Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Milo Tsukroff
Stop

COBOL Forever!

People trust banks because the back-end language for handling money is, and always will be, COBOL. COBOL is written to be clear and as bug-free as over 50 years of development can make it. Any language that's less than 10 years old and still in development is a guaranteed bug-house. COBOL Forever!!

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One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Will the battery kill it like the Roomba got killed?

The Roomba got killed because nobody wants to replace a $100 proprietary battery. (Now the Roomba-maker is off making robots for the US military, where cost isn't an object and battery replacement is done to mil-spec.) Roomba batteries die and then the whole device gets thrown away --- if Dyson doesn't address the battery issue, their product will die too --- no matter how whiz-bang it works.

Double-A's Forever!!!

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Big Blue's GPFS: The tech's fantastic. Shame about the product

Milo Tsukroff

Re: General Parallel File System, not General Purpose File System

Definitions: RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks - according to IBM. The "I" word actually is "Inexpensive" but IBM does not want to use that word. Draw your own conclusions. (I have personally met the author of the original paper that defined RAID.)

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Ex-Palm CEO Rubinstein wishes HP sale never happened

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Re: HP

You forgot to include - the iPAQ line, purchased as part of the Compaq acquisition. It was the iPhone before the iPhone existed ... but ... never properly supported, and never ever properly fixed. It was also a black hole that sucked yet another Microsoft portable OS into the nethersphere....

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Oh S**T, here comes a ROBOT to take my JOB

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

Re: Patients? @Rampant Spaniel

Right on! You wrote:

> The jobs just aren't there, full stop

Same over here on the other side of the pond. I'm in the same pickle here in the Yoo Ess of Aye. Only choice is to make my own job, and then ... here come the tax men, the regulators, the bureaucrats, the local zoning officials, and on and on.....

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It's a BYO-slingshot party in the Silicon Valley of Elah

Milo Tsukroff
Boffin

There's a solution to the Rich Get Richer syndrome ....

" The big folks get richer while the little folks get poorer. Money is sucked upwards and doesn't fall back down to earth. Some things never change. Anybody care to disrupt that?"

Actually there is a mechanism already in place in the USA which works against the Big Guys. It's called, the HR Department. There's an arc to a company's history:

- Startup - Owner hand-selects high-quality hires

- Company accelerates upward. Makes tons of ca$h.

- HR department organized

- Peak of arc, company is huge, HR department given entire control of hiring

- Only liars, posers, and toxic personalities get hired - they have all the most brilliant resumes

- Competent employees jump ship for small start-ups

- Company is now populated almost entirely by incompetents who spend their time surfing the Net and infighting. Products suffer and the company is headed downhill.

- Down it goes. The HR department is almost the last department left, ensuring that the Company will grind into the dust before its nose can be lifted up far enough. (Or it will get sold.)

Every US companies is at some point or other in this arc. So there is justice.

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Twenty classic arcade games

Milo Tsukroff
Mushroom

Re: Mainly a good list, but...MARBLE MADNESS?!?!!

Marble Madness ... AAAAAAaaaaaaah!!!

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Milo Tsukroff
Pint

Galaxians, of course

Ah, yes, Galaxians - my personal favorite of the "quarter-eater" generation. Wave 1 - Best hand-eye coordination practice ever. I still play it occasionally. I was shown how to play it at University. The challenge is to never, ever shoot an alien from behind, only when it's coming at you. Complete Wave 1 without losing a ship. If you can do it, you've won! If you can't, do it again ... and again .. and again... and again ...

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Bill Gates: Windows Phone strategy was 'a mistake'

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Sorry, Billy, You blew it with Windows CE ....

Sorry, Billy Gates, you blew it with mobile OS's starting with Windows CE. And weren't you in charge back then? If you want to know why Windows doesn't rule the smartphone, look in the mirror. And you also didn't kill Spam "in two years" like you predicted in 2004.

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Cold and dead - those CARING profession's MACHINES

Obviously a bit of research designed to prove a prejudice. Without us Physics-based engineers, those CARING professionals would have COLD and DEAD machinery - computers, cars, telephones, etc. They would squat around a fire (provided by a cold-hearted engineer, as they couldn't start their own) telling each other how much they care. And they would starve because they would have trouble figuring out how to make the spearpoint attach to the spear shaft. Too complex, you know.

There's a reason why reason rules. Empathy gets you nothing when the car's broken down, the telly's out, the phone's kaput, or the computer blue-screens.

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White House raises the signature threshold for petitions to 100,000

Milo Tsukroff
Pint

home of the nutters

As an American, I represent that remark. And so does Britain.

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Delay climate mitigation, escalate the costs: study

Milo Tsukroff
Boffin

ALASKA IS COOLING - Bring on the CO2 !!

Alaska is cooling and continues to get colder. Bring on the CO2 - NOW!!

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Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Can NOT throw it away, it's ILLEGAL to throw it away!

I have a garage full of clutter, and half of it is old computer equipment which is clearly out of date, needs to be thrown away, and ... it's ILLEGAL to throw it away! It can only be disposed of at certain licensed locations, with pre-registration, a few times a year. Next date coming up is in June. Probably it'll be on a weekend like this past year, when I'm busy with another project and can't make it.

So actually, here in the United States, this is a problem created by regulation.

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Slideshow: A History of the Smartphone in 20 Handsets

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Re: Nokia N-Gage?

Hey, they included an iPAQ ... that too was an entire line of elephant dung. From start to finish. Ever see a "smart" phone corrupt its entire OS (and all subsequent backups) by simply loading a Word doc greater than half-a-meg in size? Way to go, HP! My brother bought the entire deal - bluetooth voice dialing, camera, Microsoft apps, everything - long before the iPhone came on the market ... and he said, he would never buy HP again. And he hasn't.

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Fake sandwich shop's big fake Likes leave Facebook looking flaky

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

Re: "Rory poses the question of whether Facebook's $100bn valuation can be justified."

Nope. Not when they flog ads from Minnesota con men:

FREE Video Reveals "Weird" Trick To

Slash Your Power Bill By 75% (Or More)

& Beat The Electricity Monopoly For Good!

Took me a single log in to Facebook to locate this criminal's ad. The video uses all the classic con man stuff. It's a one-stop-shopping education on every confidence trickster's patter. "But wait, there's more!" and so on.

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Facebook unfriends 19-inch data center racks

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

19" rack built minicomputers too

Doesn't anybody remember that minicomputers were built on 19" racks also? Digital Equipment Corportation (DEC), WANG, that I know of, probably others also.

I'll get me coat.

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Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

MAKES PERFECT SENSE to me!

Makes perfect sense to me! The system will track UNEMPLOYED people. Why would they hire people and thus REDUCE their service population? Off-shoring the work preserves and expands the base of UNEMPLOYED people the system serves. 'Nuff said. (Where's that icon for LMAO?)

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West Australian WiFi mesh sniffs out bushfires

Milo Tsukroff
Big Brother

We'll be seeing you shortly

We have identified who you are and where you live. The proctors will be at your door shortly to install an update to your visiplate. Those who understand how our detection grid works and how it tracks all human activity, even in the vast uncharted outdoors, are dangerous and must be monitored much more closely. When the revolution comes ... we'll detect it and snuff it out. Long live Big Brother!

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Obama gets the big data bug

Milo Tsukroff
Big Brother

Just in time for the 2012 election!

Big Data ... with a small siphon of "little data" to the reelection campaign of a certain current administration.... Can you say, 1984? Big Brother wants your vote!

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Activist supplied illegally obtained docs to DeSmogBlog

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

Evolution and Climate Warming are .... linked?

So Evolution (vs. Creationism) and Climate Warming are .... linked? Where's the connection?

Evolution states that everything in the biome is in constant change. And that, according the religion of Secular Evolution, is a Good Thing.

Climate Warming states that everything in the biome is getting warmer. Another way of putting it is, it's in constant change. And that, according to the religion of Climate Warming, is a Bad Thing.

I see inconsistency here. If change is both GOOD and BAD, then at least one belief system is wrong. Maybe both are. But it's impossible for both to be right. 'Nuff said.

Pass me my coat, please. Mine's the one with the tomato on the lapel.

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Milo Tsukroff
Holmes

Re: Re: Balance?

> Other journalistic organs at least pretend to segregate news from opinion

Got a chuckle outta that one ... here in America, only Fox News still tries to do that. And so, of course, they are universally reviled.

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HP throws WebOS to open source community

Milo Tsukroff
FAIL

History Repeats Itself - HP Stuffs Good Product Down The Loo - Can U Say IPaq?

History repeats itself. HP bought Compaq and then dithered with its iPaq line until they crap-engineered it into oblivion. I have some 2nd-hand iPaqs people gave me. I am frustrated they never fixed the simple problems like memory corrupting when loading a document more than about a half-Meg in size. Complaints were met with, "Is it under warranty? No? Well come back to us when it is." Applications fought each other. Hardware broke way too easily - the most easily broken was the recharge bracket! The poor-step-child attitude of product support destroyed the iPaq line.

Then the iPhone came out. It basically had just the same capabilities as the iPaq. But it was fully functioning and well-supported. And the rest is history.

So the history of the Palm purchase has gone down the same route. But HP is learning. It took them less than 2 years to bring WebOS down, a lot lot less time than it took to destroy the iPaq.

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Yahoo! may! never! see! a! penny! of! $610m! anti-spam! win!

Milo Tsukroff
Flame

Charge a penny per email - and 419 SPAM will end

There's one and only one way to end SPAM as we know it - charge a penny an email. This will not completely eliminate 419 spam (I've gotten BS 419-style letters in the regular Post), but it will make criminals unable to afford to continue sending out spam. No more unscrupulous hosts ignoring spammers. I'm sure you're thinking, well, spammers will just spoof an email sender. If they do that, then the spammer becomes the target of whatever collection agency the email sender hires. After all, money talks. And I would love it if there was a money value for spam that a bounty hunter could collect on.

Until then .... going after spammers with the American legal systme is a waste of time and money. (And trying to keep spam out via filters is also a waste of effort, but that's a gripe for another time.)

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Engineer sues Huawei for axing him 'because he's a Brit'

Milo Tsukroff
Coat

75 per cent were recruited locally ... Yep. From the local Chinese.

5
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Climategate witchhunt fingers scientist

Milo Tsukroff
Flame

That's _innocent_ if they drown

That's _innocent_ if they drown. Get it right!

(I am a former Connecticut resident - where many witches were executed, although several passed the water test.)

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US military prepares for plummeting spy satellite

Milo Tsukroff
Alert

Yikes! Too close for comfort...

... because I work only a few blocks away from that building in the picture! "Shut her down, Clancy, she's pumping mud!"

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Now RIAA says copying your own CDs is illegal

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Down

Soon you'll be charged just for LISTENING

What a crock. If the RIAA has its way, soon you'll be charged just for LISTENING. Walk into a mall, pay your pence for the musak ...

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BBC readies global web and TV expansion

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

It might actually work ...

... if they put Dr. Who episodes out on the Web.

And I want to be able to watch it on my Wii.

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HP revives iPaq range

Milo Tsukroff

The Last Gasp for the iPAQ line?

This looks like the last gasp for the iPAQ line. HP is trying to jump on the bandwagon of Blackberry, iPhone, and so on. But 3 years ago and more, they had iPAQs that worked as a phone, camera, MP3 player, had Windows apps like Word and Excel, and could browse the Web and use Bluetooth headgear.

What's really the tragedy here is that even though the iPAQ had most of the iPhone features years ago, HP's technical R&D never corrected the incredibly serious bugs in the old 4000, 5000 and 6000 series models. Application memory was mysteriously crippled. OS corruption propagated onto backups. Users like my brother and I had to reset the units several times a day, with hard resets (lose all your contacts, appointments, and tasks) every month or so.

Gradually, customers got wise, and the office supply stores here in the States dropped the iPAQ line. Now that HP is trying to resurrect the iPAQ, I say, good luck -- it's their last chance, and it may be too late at this point.

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Wii wins console war, market watcher claims

Milo Tsukroff

Backward compatibility is key

Backward compatibility is the key ... and has been ever since the IBM 360 back in the early 'Sixties. Nintendo finally learned their lesson. Also, continuing innovations with the controller, finally going beyond the brave experiments of the original NES. And one more thing Nintendo did right this time -- they didn't restrict really neat tech to Japan. It didn't help to create world-wide sales when the xenophobic Nipponese kept cool NES accessories like the disk drive for Japan only.

Bravo for Nintendo -- Mario rules!! ;)

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Scientists uncover lefty gene

Milo Tsukroff

Sounds sinister to me!

... as in "sinistre" (I believe it's spelled), Latin for left-handed ...

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Samsung S1030 and S850 digital cameras

Milo Tsukroff

Good review - Throwaway cameras

Very good review. I've used an S850 since the Spring, when I needed a quick replacement "throwaway" camera that used SD card storage and AA batteries. My experience has been that alkaline batteries last a bit longer than the review stated (perhaps the reviewer accidently bought counterfeit batteries), but I do own a large number of rechargeable LiMh AA's which I use regularly.

The reason that I call the S850 a "throwaway" is that it's just a transitional form. Features that will be upgraded in future models are, no sound while zooming; focus problems when partially zoomed in; default to flash mode when turning camera on every time [drives me nuts]; failure to hold the "S" priority settings if I turn the camera off while on that setting; lack of an optical viewfinder; and numerous other small things that irritate me. I won't own this camera forever. In a couple of years, I'll replace it with something better.

In the meantime, its best features are indeed its excellent anti-shake capability (a tripod is simply not needed any more) and phenomenal picture detail. The ASR is superb. Recording videos is weird when seeing a 1/2-second delay between what I'm recording & what's on the screen.

All in all, the S850 is an okay camera, as long as I think of it as a throwaway.... Thanks for the review.

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