* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

2997 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

Microsoft under threat from Linux - it's official

Robert E A Harvey
Linux

@deege: Linux Home Basic

Thirdly: no-one is spending the sort of money marketing Linux that MS & Apple are spending

The success /despite/ lack of marketing reminds me of the first 3 J.K.Rowling books, made popular by word of mouth consumerism.

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Alleged games console modder faces DMCA charges

Robert E A Harvey

Pre-judged

It's the name. crippen. Can't get away with anything, that family.

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Flying 'Motorbike'/Reliant Robin 'to take off next year'

Robert E A Harvey
Stop

Been Here before

Moller, Skyvan, macro, Terrafugia.

Let's see a few hundred in everyday use before we get excited.

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Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID

Robert E A Harvey

Problem solved - re'Hmm'

AC has clearly put the case 'Now if you were to use a metal tag to number, this would not interfere with the amish belef system, however using an electronic tag would.'

The next logical step is that the Amish apparently eschew lifestyles associated with modern innovation, so they would have to give up cattle farming and revert to growing wheat.

I'd like to see someone stick an RFID in the ear of every wheat plant.

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Villagers cut off as dripping thong sparks brown out

Robert E A Harvey
Coat

Been there

Best travel advice for Leadenham is similar to that I was given for the village of Queen Adelaide.

Take a brick with you.

1. When you tire of talking to the locals, you can hold a worthwhile conversation with the Brick.

2. If you stand on it you might be able to see somewhere more interesting.

Mine's the one with a brick in each pocket.

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Spotify: iPhone sideloads for £120 a year, unlimited

Robert E A Harvey

gosh

Makes the BBC licence fee very good value!

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O2 leaves travellers in the lurch

Robert E A Harvey

ha! update

OK, got to Schiphol now. No O2 here either. mark you, that's not uncommon. Oddly I often fail to get a service upstairs, but can get a signal downstairs in one of the terminal rows.

Good effort, lads.

Oh, and the Virgin Mobile? The signal strength bargraph looks like a cornfield, there are so many of them.

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Robert E A Harvey

ha!

I've just driven from Fujiera to Dubai, and my private Virgin mobile phone has had signals all the way. The O2 company phone is as dead as a dead thing.

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Palm restores Pré iTunes synchronisation

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

Nokia and @Sean Timarco Baggaley

""Nokia alone have produced over 700 mobile phones in over two decades. If any company should know how to beat Apple in the mobile phone market, it's Nokia. So what the hell is their excuse?"" Quite right Sean. Quite right.

They may have produced 700 phones over that time, but they are indistinguishable from each other, and from most others. Like the manufactuers of cameras and motor cars they are stuck with a "me too" mindrut where they only make what is already selling. Innovation is risky so basically they don't.

Ignoring things like DAB radio, IR remote control emulation, Garage door opening nodes, microcash, football ground eticket admission (all of which have been pundited and never appeared) how about telephony? How come at least one model in the range can't take dual SIM cards? How come you can't bundle your home and mobile numbers and have both ring when either gets an incoming call? How come voicemail can't be transferred to the phone like text messages, to be replayed when out of service?

There are hundreds of potential innovations (like auto-power down at a set time each evening for my work phone) and yet Nokia - and the rest of them - just make the same phone over and over again because the marketing departments are cowards.

So if Apple stir things up and make something people actually want, well bloody good show.

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Robert E A Harvey

@AC re @mine

"License fee? What makes you think Apple would license it? "

That's the clue, isn't it? If they can't do a deal to do it properly, they should not do it at all.

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Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

For Glod's sake

For Glod's sake, palm, pay the licence fee. Stop behaving like a teenage hacker.

Oh, and let me buy the phone without a contract, you morons.

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Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

text books

6 months ago various fora were discussing using these things for text books

Fat chance . I was worried then about how you would sell your books at the end of the course. Here's your answer.

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Electropulse weapon fear spreads to UK politicos

Robert E A Harvey
Happy

EMP?

You can take my company email system out whenever you want. And the born-again osbourne I have to lug round with me that takes 17 minutes to boot and load windows.

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Startup crafts DVD-Rs for the 31st century

Robert E A Harvey
Coat

anyone seen the alligator?

>"There are no environmental concerns we've identified at this point,"

where's me steamroller got to?

Is it near the drop hammer?

Meteorite anybody?

Mine's the one with the aerosol of hydrofluric acid in what's left of the pocket.

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Tata threatens govt over e-car loan decision

Robert E A Harvey
Flame

Send a gunboat!

Hmm. Dodgy manufacturer of iron busses in India threatens sovereign government. Which of the two has armed forces, eh?

I'd tell em to pi** off.

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Webcams, printers, gizmos - the untold net threats

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

@AC 'Old news #'

I know exactly what you mean.

Some years ago I was managing a heterogenous network on a survey ship, connected to the outside world by VSAT at isdn speeds.

I had a bit of a browse around the universe one night. I discovered I could print documents in my local district council - their print queues were all visible over the internet. I sent them a few quotations for consultancy to stop it happening, including printing them on their printers, but heard noting,

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Vulture Central plans Brit-Yank dictionary

Robert E A Harvey
Headmaster

Biscuits and Cookies

There is a technical difference. Britain has always had both sorts.

A Biscuit - apart from the US breakfast scone, which is sort of warm stodge - A Biscuit is cut from rolled dough, while a Cookie is made from a dollop of batter. There is a tool called a biscuit cutter.

Industrially things are similar - biscuit dough is rolled and cut (or stamped). Cookies are dropped from a depositor nozzle, sometimes with a wire cutter to interrupt the stream.

Just to complicate the matter, my Mother-in-law came from Canada with a recipe for anzac biscuits, which are deposited and then rolled. Then the Scots have drop scones, which I understand are a weapon of the besieged, used to drop on incoming armies. At least one scottish scone is made of stone.

In the US, as far as I can make out, all styles are called 'cookies', and you have to shop for a cookie cutter. It seems a shame not to have the distinction.

The definitive biscuit is the ginger biscuit, not available in the US as far as I know. Just to confuse you further, the proper name for it in the bakery trade is a 'Ginger Snap'.

Now, let us consider the products of Messers Carr. Until they were bought by United Biscuits they sold four different versions of Carr's water biscuits (High bake, low bake etc). These appear to be now called Water Crackers - perhaps since Kellog acquired the company. This is probably the correct name. Water Crackers originated in the southern states of the USA before their civil war. Carr adapted the principle and made something less sweet and less salty, more like the traditional Bath dry biscuit. But they are undoubtedly crackers - crackers are moulded and cooked simultaneously between heated irons. c.f. Jacob's cream crackers, where the cream is cream of tartar.

Oh, by the way, the proper name for a Bath dry biscuit is a Bath Oliver. Nothing to do with our civil war, they were named for a Dr Oliver who ran a watering place in Bath. The ownership of the recipe has passed hand over hand to a company called Fort, nothing to do with Fortean Times, although they taste the same.

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OpenOffice bug/feature stirs 'horde of angry chimps'

Robert E A Harvey
Go

points of view. Not exactly consistent

1. Why do people assume that a programme that looks a bit like MSoffice will behave /exactly/ like MS office in the odder corners? A VW passat, a Peurgeot 407, and a ford mondeo are all jelly-mould 4-door saloons, driven using a wheel and 3 pedals. That doesn't mean you can expect to fit the same pollen filter to all 3 air conditioning units.

2. Why do the OOo developers still ignore issues going back to 2001 to which long strings of duplicates get added?

Go OO - but please read bugzilla now and again.

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Apple ends Palm Pre's iTunes charade

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

Disapointed in Palm

and not only for the carrier-specific tying of the Pre.

If they wanted to sell an iTunes compatible they should have negotiated with Apple from an early stage & paid a sensible licence fee for each one connected. That would probably have been a dollar or so.

Apple would have gained some iTunes customers, some cudos, and an insight into the pre to aid their own product differentiation.

Palm acting like a freeloader was juvenille and bound to end in tears.

Paris, 'cos she understands marketing herself.

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HTC Snap

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

Yawn

Said it before - not interested in winphones.

Why is the same hardware not available with a choice of OS?

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Sports site sues Facebook for click fraud

Robert E A Harvey

Or

>Instead of taking every instance to court, it seems like when advertisers sign up they

>should agree to let some arbiter make decisions regarding accusations of fraud.

Or bugger off and find someone they trust to place their adverts.

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US thesp to attempt audacious tw*tdangle

Robert E A Harvey
Dead Vulture

you started it

"Although comparisons with David Blaine's legendary twatdangle are inevitable, our use of the term to describe 37-year-old Arquette's stunt is a little unfair"

So don't do it then.

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Office 2010 tech preview: Expect the expected

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

Bugs fixed?

I hated the transition to office2003. The new way to handle styles was horrid. New ways to 'flow' pictures and captions numbered out of sequence. Anchoring pictures to the paragraph horizo- ntally but the page vertically. TOC formatting even more broken than before. Yuk. Did it convert frames to text boxes? No. It just stubbornly put them in stupid places. Page flow that respects footers for text but dumps pictures over them. Ugh.

I doubt any of this is fixed.

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Brothel funds NZ lad's Olympic dream

Robert E A Harvey
Coat

New sports?

Perhaps he can persuade the IOC to introduce sports his girls can represent NZ at?

(I have to admit my first thought was 'sheep impersonating')

I'll get me goat.

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Rosetta Stone rocks Google with trademark lawsuit

Robert E A Harvey

Oh dear

Capitalism red in tooth and claw?

Hey, Rosetta, guess what. I don't care. AdBlock Plus rules all.

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Net sleuth calls eBay on carpet over shill bidding

Robert E A Harvey
Flame

Then of Dieves

I stopped using Ebay around the millenium, fearing the legitimacy or even the existence of some of the things I saw. How did tinpot traders come to have stocks of motherboards before the manufacturer's wholesalers? Where did they get graphics boards with 4 times the memory of anything on the builder's web site? How could one chap successfully auction a branded chainsaw a week at 25% of the wholesale price? Another Offer multiple instances of a fountain using a photograph from a local paper of a one-off product sold to a local stately home? who on earth sells puppies at auction, or indeed buys them like that? (at least that one seems to have stopped, at least on fleabay)

I reported to ebay the multiple listing of Alfa Romeo service CDs which Alfa said were only available to main dealers, on licence, and not for sale anywhere. Nothing happened.

I had huge volumes of paypal phishing the moment I created the account. It stopped within days of my closing the account. PayPal said their systems were secure. Right.

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SUSE 11 takes off faster than 10

Robert E A Harvey
Linux

Turning it into money?

I used to purchase every other release of Suse - you got a good quality distro, on DVD, with seriously good printed documentation and a few weeks of support.

Then they got bought up, went 'open' and stopped selling boxed versions. I'd still be giving them 40 or 50 quid a year if they would take it from me.

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Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

Robert E A Harvey

whot?

Packs of pre-boiled eggs - de-shelled or in brightly coloured shells - have been a feature of German supermarkets for years.

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Phorm phading phast

Robert E A Harvey
FAIL

A serious comment

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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Russians demand flying cars and telepathy

Robert E A Harvey
Alien

But But But

I voted for the time machine. Once you have one of those you can arrange to collect all the others as appropriate.

Who would /not/ vote for a time machine?

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McAfee false-positive glitch fells PCs worldwide

Robert E A Harvey
Linux

@daftvader

Yes, people have rootkitted lnuxes. There have been a few stories of infection.

But there are dozens of distros, there is Solaris, BSD, and perhaps if a few years time HP will rediscover unix.

A diverse ecosystem is always going to have higher natural immunity than a monovarietal monoculture.

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Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns

@ Max Watson

Last time I did a system restore from a windows boot disk it rolled back SP3, 2, 1 and all the security updates. It took a couple of days to get the machine anything like working safely.

I own two paid-for backup systems that will make a bootable recovery disk from the current image. Because of anti-piracy both require the windows boot disk to be inserted before they start. On my older machines they reject it as counterfeit.

I have been using Suse since 8.2, and am currently migrating everything to either Suse 11 or Ubuntu and will never, ever, build or buy another windows computer.

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'Non-compulsory' ID cards poised for a makeover?

Robert E A Harvey
Stop

NI number

When the welfare state was created everybodies National Insurance number was lifted from the wartime ID card scheme. I still have my old ID card - it was required until the end of rationing in 1953.

We would not need a new identity system if the government had not given away free NI numbers like so much confetti. Properly managed, they alone would have been enough to keep track of who was entitled to what.

Since they government undermined this venerable, and once fool-proof, system what faith can we have in anything else they propopse?

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UK DVD sales plunge...

Robert E A Harvey
Big Brother

@Mike Richards

>..UK DVDs ... FBI ... dollar fine.

Take it to trading standards and tell them you think it is evidence of piracy. Write to the distributor saying that is what you have done.

Should be a laugh.

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Humberside koi carp rustlers trawl Google Earth

Robert E A Harvey
Big Brother

I am impressed

>Gregory explained that the organised thieves arrived "equipped with nets" ...

> She added: "They are either operating in their local area or have

> access to a vehicle."

You can't slip much past Humberside police, can you?

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Don't call me Ishmael

Robert E A Harvey

Le Carre names

I've taken to using names from Le Carre novels.

My Fedora server is 'Smiley' because it is incredibly clever, and a survivor. It will be doing what it does when all else is in ruins. The firewall is 'Mendel ', the dependable shadowy friend who watched his back, but is from another world

My home workstation dual boots XP and Ubuntu. Thus it is Gerald or Hayden according to what it boots.

The Suse 11.1 netbook is 'Esterhause' because he is referred to as a dwarf in one of the novels.

The unstable box on which I try out ideas is 'Tarr'

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That Digital Britain report in full

Robert E A Harvey
Paris Hilton

@Mike 16

>A friend of mine makes her own transistors, in a hobby grade ceramics kiln.

>OTOH, other friends build clocks, trebuchets and steam launches, so perhaps I just have unusual friends?

So at weekends they can bombard riverside homes with electronic timepieces?

Paris has strange friends too.

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Robert E A Harvey
Unhappy

Abstrads!

First they ruin my pension, so will have to work till I am 90

Next they put cameras in every bodily orifice so they can spy on me all day long.

Now they want to ruin both the BBC and radio, so my last remaining pleasure is denied me.

Evil flipwits (news quiz passim) the lot of them.

Is the main reason they want to outlaw analogue radio the ease with which suruptitious transmitters could be set up? Or just to stop me listening to Hilversum and Berlin?

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Jaguar said to have electric XE in pipeline

Robert E A Harvey
IT Angle

V3

V3s make little sense. The V configuration makes the problem of balancing 3 crank offsets quite hard, and if one ot the cylenders is a centre one, then you loose some of the space saving advantages. A straight 3 would be tidier, and easier to balance. A Y3 would be more fun.

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Ex-Borland's Delphi owner re-ignites cross-platform dream

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

But but but

They way I read it they are talking about cross-development under windows for the other targets, not porting the IDE to Linux or Mac.

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Apple punts batterylicious MacBook Pros

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

1000 charge cycles?

That's about 3 years, surely? And they call that a /good/ thing?

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Tube Deluxe 3.1

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

umm

Every diary I had as a boy had a tube map in the cover. Every platform has 2 or 3.

How well does the GPS work on the Victoria line?

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Beeb says sorry after iPlayer network fail

Robert E A Harvey
Stop

@Sean Timarco Baggale

well, quite.

All the adverts for broadband told us we could do things lik e.g. stream TV.

Why did it come as a surprise when we did?

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Behind Microsoft's IE-free, Windows-for-Europe ploy

Robert E A Harvey
Gates Horns

window dressing

I can't see that, once there is a button that will fetch IE - and only IE - the offering is distinguishable from having IE there in the first place. After all most versions of an OS will fetch allsorts of stuff when they first wake up, if only security updates.

The regulators need to insist that whenever there is a choice that consumers get a choice.

Next they need to uncover strongarming on hardware vendors to exclude other OSs from the marketing material.

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Lightning strikes Amazon cloud (honest)

Robert E A Harvey

Many years ago

I used to work in Grantham telephone exchange. It had a diesel standby generator, but that didn't mean it worked...

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Palm to out-iPod Apple with CEO pick

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

@SynnerCal - nub of the matter

You are right - innovative products are the key

The original Palm Pilot - Mine only just stopped working - was innovative and original, it crowbarred itself into a market that did not exist. The Pre is 'just another smartphone', and even though Palm may have helped create the concept.

I could display NMEA dialogues from navigation systems on my palm, using the RS232 input. I had the modem, an ethernet adaptor, and could use it as a remote control on my TV. In 1997.

Where is the innovation today? What about a simple programming environment that would let engineers turn their devices into oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers, data loggers? What about a couple of analogue inputs? Digital Radio Mondiale?(DAB will take too much battery power!)

We need a sort of technical lego - ultrasonic distance or beam-break event detectors, light and heat sensors, oxygen sensors, voltmeters, ammeters, relay outputs and opto-isolator inputs etc etc all with a short range radio link simpler and more reliable than bluetooth and capable of handling multiple devices, like small motor actuators, buzzers, valves, and the like. All programmable by something as simple as ladder logic or function blocks. Have a PC adaptor and one for the PDA, develop the software at your desk and use it in the field.

Or what about opening your front door? For 20 years cars have used 'blippers' to unlock doors, and recently to open the bootlid. Why can't I do that for my house? As an accessory from Palm? What about leaving my burglar alarm on all the time, but set the pre up to identify me and let me move about without triggering the bells?

Why can't it have an ultrasonic device I can use to train my dog? Or switch automagically to low power when e.g. it gets after 5pm and I never make or get phone calls after 5pm? Or turn itself off at airports? How come I can't point it at the meat in a carvery restaurant and read off the temperature? or have it beep when I go near a CCTV camera, or use the same telemetry link as my heart pacemaker and tell my my recent cardiac history? Why won't it let me open my hotel bedroom, or exchange funds with a one-touch cashless terminal, or pay the London congestion charge, or have it read my iris before it will turn on in case someone nicks it?

Me-too design and marketing is not innovation, just an attempt to run a business that has no ideas of its own.

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Palm Pre's inner iPhone revealed

Robert E A Harvey
Linux

solder porn

What is this fixation with taking things to bits? It seems as empty as you-tubing yourself unpacking the shipping boxes.

I just want to know if I can sync the address book with anything other than MicroDim's LookOut, and if I can load it with music from my linux box. Oh, and when I can get a second hand unlocked one from the nice lady on Lincoln Market.

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Sony X-Series Walkman

Robert E A Harvey

will it...

play mp3s in file name order without mp3 tags? Like, for example, episodes of a detective story?

stream .ra from iplayer over the wifi?

make sheduled recordings from the FM radio? While you are listening to something else?

I notice it does not include DAB radio, an increasing omission in consumer gadgets. I reckon DAB is dead if it can't be crowbared into something like this.

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Microsoft's Google challenger is not a search engine

Robert E A Harvey

@JC - cash register

My old Dad's N CR with all the buttons went "Kerching - Ting" not 'bing'

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Inside USB 3.0

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down

This is turning into a bodge.

adding extra pins here and there.

Why not give in, make a new connector and stop worrying? Or, for that matter, follow the scsi or firewire dream?

What happened to wireless USB and Bluetooth-high-speed anyway?

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