* Posts by Dave 126

7494 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Boffins crowdsource hunt for 'Planet 9'

Dave 126
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Whatever it is, it's from Outer Spaaaaace!

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Dave 126
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Re: Hurry

Sounds like a good excuse for daddy to buy a load of Lego and make an orrery!

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Dave 126
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Re: Easy. My dog found it.

You're not Micky Mouse posting as AC are you?

Now, I know Micky M has a pet dog, but the pooch's name escapes me right now...

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DNA-bothering eggheads brew beer you were literally born to like

Dave 126
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Re: What if it decides you don't like beer?

Really? I thought beer was living proof that God exists and wants us to be happy!

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Dave 126
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Re: Almost Interesting

Avoid the coke if you can - sugars will make your hangover far worse. If you must have a sweeter taste (and yeah, bitter is an acquired taste) try vodka and apple juice.

Bitters take time to get used to, but it's a healthy palette to have. You'll find yourself snacking in high protein foodstuffs like nuts or cheese, instead of chocolate.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Dave 126
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Re: I blame Apple and the iPhone

Eh?

The iPhone succeeded because people like tech that is useful or distracting (or really, were getting bored of having to teach a T9 predictive text system to swear and a virtual qwerty seemed nice), not vice versa.

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Re: Who in the FUCK ...

Nobody asked for a dishwasher connects to the web. Some people have asked for a dishwasher that can be turned on remotely,for those mornings when the whole process of getting the kids ready and driven to school is a nightmare.

People are interested in the end, not the means.

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Dave 126
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Re: A software bug in a dishwasher?

You're not familiar with Miele, are you? True, they've dropped the ball on this one issue, but they are the only appliance maker that makes stuff the last and to be repaired. For example, their washing machines still allow the bearings to be replaced, and use a cast iron ballast instead of concrete.

This has been the consistent results if independent testing by the Consumer Association (which is financed by member's subscriptions, not adverts).

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Dave 126
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Re: Favourite things

I love the Windows software that comes with the pricier Logitech mice - it maps one of the many mouse buttons to perform what on OSX is called 'Exposé'. All the windows shrink and align themselves neatly, so that one can see at a glance what is open. It is invaluable for spotting errant dialogue boxes and and pesky 'pop-under' browser windows. Damned handy too for accessing another window without upsetting a full-screen video, if you want to adjust screen brightness for example.

The cheaper Logitech mouse software doesn't have this feature. Still, I have no plans to use any rodent but a Darkfield MX Hyperscroll mouse anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: You hit it Dabbsy

> 1) Use a 5 year old regular retail netbook with 1024 x 800 screen for testing, and general application use at least 1/5th of time.

It's like the recording studios of the 1950s... They would have a listening room with consumer-grade radios in them. The music would be mixed to suit the sort of radios that Joe Public would be listening on, not the professional monitoring equipment the studio possessed.

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Re: Strangely enough ...

Mr Dabbs has written in the past about some of the commercial software he supports his clients with. It's only available on OSX and Windows.

Good software can be created by enthusiasts, but in some sectors the best applications are created by teams of people paid to do so. It's just the way it is.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yep...

Until halfway down your post is innocently assumed you were looking for Asia sub-section of the World News on the BBC website.

But yeah, a few of Mr Dabb's bullet-pointed gripes I associate more with websites than I do desktop applications these days. You start reading a paragraphy then it jumps around. You scroll back and continue reading, then a sharking advert pops up... Grr!

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Dave 126
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Re: Microsoft time

I'm curious - what's the longest "X hours remaining" any of you folk have seen Windows display?

We can't post scteenshots here, but we will trust you!

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Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

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Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

Dave 126
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Re: Secure by design...

If the CIA have a keen interest in you, I don't think your choice of OS is going help you. Spanners.

Indeed, they have said it themselves - if you use Tin Hat Linux or whatever, you're just marking yourself out for further inspection, though most likely just written off as a bit of an irrelevant saddo in due course.

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Dave 126
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Re: Airports

> Next in the dump, there's Sonic Screwdriver – a Doctor Who reference suggesting the design may have come from the UK's GCHQ spy nerds

Jesus fucking wept. No, a reference to a British TV series does not suggest a link a British agency unless you are soft in the head. Was it not in the Reg that I read that the OSX source code is peppered with reference to the British series Porridge? Does Python not take it's name from the British Monty Python's Flying Circus? Spam, ditto. For crying out loud, even the Simpsons has made jokes about US college nerds' love of British humour and sci-fi. Shit, even the Asperger's character from Dan 'Sony pay me whether I run the show or masturbate and play PlayStation' Harmon's Community has an obsession with 'Inspector Space Time' [Dr Who].

And seriously, what kind of retard thinks that an organisation like GCHQ, full of very smart, game-playing individuals, would name a software tool such that it links back to them?

What the hell has happened to the Reg? I know it's a Friday and all, but I'm pissed and yet seem to be doing a better job of critical thinking. I don't know if the author has noticed what's going on in this year of our Lord 2017, but it might just be an idea to double-down on what we used to call journalism, because there is a queue of bullshit merchants out there just champing at the bit (to mix my quadruped-based metaphors).

Live by the snark, die by the snark.

/Frumious

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'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Dave 126
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Re: I don't get it - it's just a refresh to the older non-Pro line of iPads

> I do not get the doomsday preachings

Do bear in mind that when the original iPad was first announced, a lot of the Reg readership thought it would flop. I base my assertion from the 300 comments (and attached votes) from the first related Reg article following the announcement of the iPad.

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/01/27/ipad/

There's probably some documented psychological phenomena that explains why people forget their past errors of judgement.

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Dave 126
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Re: I often wonder

> Why do laptops continue that basic design mistake rather than taking air from above the keyboard with a filter you can easily remove and clean?

Convection.

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Dave 126
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Re: So...

> I simply don't believe it costs more than 10 times as much to manufacture.

It didn't. But cost of manufacture is not how you set a price for your products.

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Dave 126
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Re: Still too dear.

> I confess that when the iPad appeared my reaction was WTF would I want with a device without a keyboard ?

A lot of the Reg readership thought that. I guess they were trying to imagine a single 'killer app', rather than lots of quite handy uses. At the time of the iPad's release, I was confident that 'lots of quite handy uses' would win the day - even though my only tablet ( a Samsung Tab 10.1) is gathering dust somewhere. A have a diverse range of friends in different fields, and I've seen iPads used for all sorts of things. But heck, I even know someone who used XP Tablet Edition ( on a touchscreen laptop for car engine diagnostic software).

If only there was a Reg avatar system that reflected the accuracy of the commenter's predictions over the years! :)

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Dave 126
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Re: I've said it before...

When I first used CAD it was still on the mainframe, so the machine I sat at was just X-windowing in. The CAD came down to the desktop, and now there are some serious moves to make it cloud-based. Why? A couple of reasons, one being that a simulation or render can be done more quickly by just renting more computing resources, and two, large projects usually involve lots of engineers so it reduces bottlenecks if your colleagues can see your changes in real-time. In fact, grown up CAD software has been for a long time very good at managing documents, references, changes etc.

With that bring true, the most the actual laptop or desktop you use can bring to the party is good ergonomics - i.e a good screen, mouse, keyboard or other HID.

So this idea of a 'workstation'... that's largely a hangover from when CAD software wasn't as stable as it is today, so the CAD vendor would list specific hardware combinations as being 'Certified Workstations'... it just made support and troubleshooting much easier. After that, there is ECC RAM, which is useful if an error in your simulation might result in a real bridge fall on someone's head. And of course the whole 'professional' graphics cards (FirePro instead of Radeon, Quadro instead of GeForce etc) which for many years often only differed from their consumer equivalents by having more suitable drivers and a 4X higher price.

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Dave 126
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Re: I've said it before...

>My definition of a real work device vs a toy is "can you write software for this device from this device" if the answer is no, then it's a toy. iPads, by that definition, are toys.

That's a stupid definition. You can't make a shovel with another shovel, that doesn't make it a toy.

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Dave 126
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Re: Chrome in US

It's not just the cost of the Chromebook hardware, it is the low cost of supporting them that is attractive. Shit, I know friends and family I would like to have use a Chromebook, so I don't have to support them.

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Dave 126
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Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

>Actually, the perfect aspect ratio for camera's is 1:1 ie. square,

The sensor on the Lumix LX range of cameras lets you choose between 4:3 and 3:2 (also 16:9 and 1:1 but seldom used cos they throw away more pixels than they add) because there are different rectangles that can fit in a circle. The lens is the expensive bit, so might as well put in a sensor that uses it.

The idea of DSLRs going 16:9 only has to be the daftest comment of the week.

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Dave 126
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Re: I've said it before...

I've helped bring products to market by using solid modelling CAD on a laptop, and that was a few years back (there are phones with as much RAM now!). Yeah, I was designing a kitchen device, and not a power station or battleship, but hey. I haven't yet seen a brilliant CAD interface for tablets, but I have no reason to believe it can't be done.

Anyway, I can imagine lots of real work being done on a tablet, from site surveying (Leica Instruments make equipment that interfaces with iDevices) to audio mixing.

I really thought this 'real work' gripe has been put to bed some time ago.

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Dave 126
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Re: As I have said a million times

iOS has always had low latency, and Wireless MIDI baked in. Compared to the price of specialist audio control surfaces at the time of its release (low volume of sales usually results in higher prices) the iPad's price looked more reasonable. And multitouch is a good UI for virtual mixing desks. I've seen a few bands in pubs using a virtual mixer on an iPad - the advantage is the soundman can stand amongst the audience and adjust levels accordingly.

True, most iPads aren't used for this, but there are lots of niche applications instead of one 'killer application'.

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Dave 126
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Re: As I have said a million times

> Apple may think they are too big (and arrogant) to fail but history tells us otherways

I suspect that Apple employ some very smart analysts and supply them with very good, expensive data. Add to that the success that they have had eating other's lunch (portable audio, mobile phones) in the past, I don't think Apple are likely to be complacent.

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Dave 126
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Re: As I have said a million times

Nokia couldn't have made an iPhone-like device based on S60 (an OS based around hardware memory constraints that were then becoming less relevant, and it wasn't designed for hardware graphics acceleration as iOS was), though they of course had a couple of Linux-y OSs in the works that would have done the job nicely. He'll, Nokia had some iPaddy concept devices too. Anyway, the Nokia post-mortem has been covered on other Reg articles.

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Dave 126
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It's curious that the keyboard offered by Apple at the launch of the iPad Pro was branded Logitech. I mean, Apple know how to make keyboards themselves (though they do split opinion)

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Dave 126
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The iPad Pro was always waiting for software to make it work to its potential. Thing is, Apple have to actually make and ship it before 3rd party devs will create software. I don't know what the current state of play is on that front, or how much digital artists have integrated iPad Pros into their workflow. (Even if people have bought them, I wouldn't expect to see too many on public transport, seeing as they are expensive items aimed at studio use).

There has always been a niche of users who might pay a lot for an iPad Pro type of device, as the likes of Wacom and Modbook have shown.

Personally, an iPad Mini-sized device with flawless stylus support would suit me nicely (I don't actually use any Apple kit, but them I don't use Android for anything creative, either) for playing with concepts on the hoof... Something a bit like Microsoft's canned Courier concept device.

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New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

Dave 126
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I guess the more demanding 15% of users will buy the version with more storage. Or if they really must travel with dozens of movies, they can use a Lightning memory stick.

The Reg have reported on surveys that strongly suggest most iPads are used in the home, where local networked storage or streaming video services negate the need for lots of iPad storage.

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Dave 126
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Re: Differential

> What's wrong with 'gap', eh?

Nothing. Gap is a noun, so saying 'there is a gap' is correct usage.

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Dave 126
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Re: Same Old Tricks?

> It depends on whether we're talking about gradients or not. Given the exclamation, "That's a bit steep!", often uttered by someone startled at the price, reference to gradients would seem to be perfectly acceptable. And a differential is a measurement of gradient.

> Or did you not know that?

Your example sentence is not of the same form.

In your example, the word 'steep' is describing the word 'that', which is correct. In your example, the word 'steep' isn't being treated as a noun. So, saying 'that is steep' is correct, but saying 'that is a steep' (or 'that is a differential') is incorrect.

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Dave 126
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They are multi-purpose devices.

An iPad used for watching movies whilst travelling might be hobbled by having little storage. An iPad that is mainly used in the home (as most are) for watching iPlayer or a bit of web browsing isn't so hobbled.

Indeed, it is that most iPads are used mainly on the home that means people are slow to upgrade them, hence slow sales (battery life isn't as crucial when a charger is always within reach. A newer, lighter model isn't as desirable if you're not carrying it around with you)

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Dave 126
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Re: New iPad

People are more far likely to want to charge their iPad (from a USB-A wall socket, car adaptor, power bank etc) than they want to connect it to a Macbook.

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Speaking in Tech: Glassholes are cool now Apple's doing it

Dave 126
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Re: A great big sodding "I told you dammit".

It seems you fell for the click-bait headline, or at least took the quote out of context (which was people talking about some report of an Apple patent, many of which are never implemented in a product).

Microsoft have learnt from the Google Glass experiment by targeting their Hololens at businesses, where the use of an AR headset won't impinge upon the privacy of Joe Public (I.e in boardrooms,construction sites, workshops etc)

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This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

Dave 126
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> or better yet figure out for itself that would be a way to win more often.

I seem to recall that Google's Go-playing computer devised its own strategies for winning. No matter.

Thank you for your response. If I understand your second paragraph correctly, you feel that 'intelligence' should be general and flexible, and (I might be mis-reading you here) doing so off its own back in order to satisfy a motivation (curiosity?).

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Dave 126
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There are a few accepted definitions of 'intelligence', but a common denominator is the ability to solve problems. This qualifies. And since it is clearly artificial, then it is apt to call it AI. No one is calling it Artificial Sentience or Artificial Consciousness.

It may be very limited and not general, so one might term it Limited Artificial Intelligence, but hey, it isn't an issue. Why? Because the readership here won't form an impression of its capabilities from its label but rather from a description of what it does and doesn't do.

To answer your question, you are not the only one who holds your view. However, they like you, have yet to provide a definition of 'intelligence’ that explains their opposition to the use of the term AI.

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Huawei's P10 breathing on Samsung's shoulder

Dave 126
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Well, Black Sabbath have licensed their name to some earphones, so why not a Spinal Tap phone?

As you say, it would be black. Every spec would be one better than anyone else. It would double as a ruler, with feet on one side and inches on the other. It would include a sensor for swabbing vomit, testing whether someone has choked on their own or somebody else's. The battery would be guaranteed not to spontaneously combust - unless in the pocket of a drummer, in which case it would not only combust but act as an incendiary too or your money back (powdered magnesium case construction, obviously). Built in metronome app with 23/π time signiture for jazz odyssey solo projects.

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Dave 126
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EDIT: can't find edit button on mobile site.

I omitted the word 'get' from one sentence. Also, the 33 bit DAC I erroneously referred to is obviously one better than a 32bit DAC - in the same way as Spinal Tap's amp is 'one better' than an ordinary amp that merely goes up to ten!

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Dave 126
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> the HTC 10 or LG G6, both of which feature a high-quality DAC (24bit and 32bit respectively).

LG have been daft with the G6. The Korean version gets the dog's bollocks ESS DAC, the yanks get wireless charging, and Europe gets neither. So, no, the version of the G6 that Reg readers might buy doesn't the 32 bit DAC. Annoyingly, Europe never got the LG V20, either - again a phone with ESS in it, and saner than the modular G5.

Note: it isn't that the DAC is 33bit that makes it good, it just happens to be a feature of what is widely considered to be very good sounding chip from ESS.

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Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Dave 126
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It would be remiss to write about the adoption of voice assistants on consumer devices without mentioning Apple. They have the ability to introduce technologies to a wider public because of their integrated structure, resources, and that their user base is less fragmented. They will rarely be the first to sell a technology, preferring to wait until it is more mature - and this only helps them promote it to the general non-techy public.

Siri has its roots in a DARPA project for triaging information to battlefield commanders.

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BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

Dave 126
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>And how come Apple get away with it?

Apple had leverage over network operators - because the iPhone was desirable to a good number of people - and they used it. I guess Apple had seen how network operators used to adorn the GUIs of 'feature phones' with horrible branding and wanted no truck with it. Network operators at the time were also trying to make money from selling Java applications and ringtones, and Apple had enough sway to take that from them too. Apple also pressured them into offering cheaper and less limited data tariffs.

However, it isn't just network operators that impede the roll-out of OS updates - it is also chipset vendors, device vendors and sometimes regulatory bodies (I use Android but don't get my phones from my network operator - I like being covered by the Sales of Goods Act). Google will release code to say Qualcomm who then, if they can be arsed to support a chip, will release a binary blob to the handset vendor. If they can be arsed to put out an update, they will develop it, test it, maybe go back to the chip vendor.... rinse, repeat. Then the update might go to the network operator and the regulator, more testing, possibly has to go back up the chain again...

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Dave 126
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Re: On where power buttons are...

A fat-fingered friend of mine only uses Apple keyboards on his PC. He wishes their wireless version had a number pad though. YMMV.

Whilst the Apple mouse can't be used whilst charging, mice go for weeks or months on a charge and give plenty of warning of low battery, so I'm not sure why a user would need to charge the mouse whilst using it.

The decision to put the SD card reader on the back of iMacs is a bit daft.

The 'cheesegrater' Mac Pro was one of the easiest to service desktops ever made.

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Dave 126
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A Turbo Button... when pressed, it uses the movement of air from the PC's fan to increase the amount of flammable liquid that is injected inside the machine. (Or at least I've used computers that I have wanted to go up in flames)

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Dave 126
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Re: You missed out

A side note on rants:

A fella called Charlie Brooker cut his teeth by ranting about the frustrations of being a PC gamer back in the nineties. In time, he ranted about Shoreditch (Nathan Barley), and then the news and television. Now he has critical acclaim on both sides of the pond for his cautionary series Black Mirror.

(I'd be interested if anyone knows the first time a television was referred to as a 'black mirror'. I know Jony Ive used the term in the nineties, referring to concepts explored for the Twentieth Anniversary Mac (just prior to Jobs' return). Jony Ive thought that CRTs when turned off were just unpleasant black mirrors, and had explored using doors and curtains to hide them. )

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Dave 126
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Re: Good design my a***

>Modern PCs with on button that is camouflaged into the trim so that a user new to the machine spends several minutes prodding bits of plastic until one of them moves.

Lenovo are guilty of that. And sometime they do something daft, like put a WiFi On/Off switch next to the Power button.

Oh, a bloody stupid laptop of a friends - the WiFi wouldn't work, and I couldn't turn it on in Windows. It eventually turns out that the little blue light on the WiFi Fn Key actually denotes 'Off', and pressing Fn-Key turns it to Orange (On). FFS! What the hell is wrong with "Light = On, No Light = Off?"

My bloody Dell Laptop has a row of unlit media / volume softkeys. The stupid thing? These softkeys light up ONLY when you are touching them. What the hell is that good for? And being softkeys, I can't identify themin the dark by touch. Grr.

It is irritations like these that cause me to attempt to be an advocate for good design. And no, 'design' isn't merely what something looks like.

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Dave 126
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Re: You missed out

>Cases lined with razor baldes to stop the un-initiated tinkering. That must be why they were like that

Hehe! A by-product of the cheap manufacturing process - in a single process you can bend a sheet of mild steel and punch holes through it simultaneously. Such parts could be de-burred, but that increases labour costs as a part has to be moved to a different machine. Whilst I have cut my fingers on PC cases (and extruded door latches that are sharply cut extrusions), I was philosophical about it - after all, I had bought the PC after weeks of searching the dead-tree magazines for the most amount of MHz/ MBs etc for my money - so the inexpensive construction (an honest compromise) was my choice as a buyer.

By contrast, no user asked for an arbitrary curved plastic fascia that nothing more than an inconvenient, cack-handed attempt at product differentiation.

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Do the numbers, Einstein: AI is more than maths as some know it

Dave 126
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A good article.

In fact, it directly answers a question a Reg reader posted a a few weeks back in response to the article https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/17/machine_learning_graphical_eye_candy/ (The article featured images of graphs by Graphcore, but so complex they resemble slices of brain more than they do a road network)

The reader asked "What does 'graph' mean in this context?" and this article answers it well.

Images are important. I remember as a child and seeing images that represented topology - a teacup being topologically similar to a doughnut, a teapot being similar to a figure-of-eight pretzel. Wow, I thought, this is maths? Cool! I thought maths was just boring numbers!

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