* Posts by defiler

991 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

Intel carves up Xeon E5-2600 v2 chips for two-socket boxes

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Power consumption

One part of me is horrified by 130W per CPU, but then another part of me realises that it's only 11W per core, or 5.5W per thread. Suddenly it's not so bad, and stacks up very favourably against my old "low power" Phenom II X4 905e.

You'd still have a hard time cooling a whole rack.

TDK calls it quits on tape media thanks to 'difficult environment'

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Re: Yesterday...

"Tapes are just insurance." - you got it right there. I don't expect to do regular restores from tape. Whenever possible I advise clients to have D2D backups at file level. Tape is an invaluable DR tool, though, and also excellent for archiving. I treat tape as the deep-tank. The backstop for when things go badly wrong. And it's served me well over the years.

It's not for constant access - hard discs are miles better at that. But users need to have reasonable expectations on access times to effectively unused data too.

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Only yesterday I was telling people that tape still has a bright future. The amount of data you can fit in a rack is on a par with hard discs, but the discs wear out faster, and cost £thousands more per year to spin and to cool. Even "backup to the cloud" still has to land on something, and if it's hard disc it's a waste of power and space.

I still believe in tape. And whilst I can see it moving out of individual companies to cloud backup providers in time, I still can't see it going away anytime soon.

Universal Credit CRUNCHED: Dole handouts IT system to be rebuilt

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Huge government IT project

Destined to fail from the outset. Not surprised in the slightest. Every time I see one of these projects being announced, I just think "that's at least 2x £<budget> that'll be poured into a hole. At least it'll keep some people in jobs for a while."

Do any of these ever work out?

Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

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Cool - if I can't have my Flying Car, I can at least console myself with a Flying Suit.

Mystery of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

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Re: None of this makes any sense

Take off and nuke the site from orbit.

Wow, the future is HERE: Charge your phone (wirelessly) in your CAR

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Not a bad idea. I can see this working brilliantly with very little effort. Just a couple of M4 captive nuts, mounted 50mm apart at the centres, arranged directly across the vehicle, perpendicular to the direction of motion. Vehicle would ship with pan-head bolts fitted, in the colour of the dashboard finish, and they would hold down a panel 80x50mm in area. This panel would be in the dashboard finish. Beneath the panel would be the two M4 nuts (captive), and a USB port for power (and hooked up to the audio).

Accessories would have a flat base between 65x30mm and 80x50mm in area, with the mounting holes arranged across the centre of the long axis. There would be a 20mm hole in the base for a USB plug to fit through, or the USB plug coud be moulded into the base (need to standardise on orientation). A thin layer of foam on the bottom surface of the base would allow it to fit nicely onto the surface in the dashboard.

Good job, people - we have a standard. To the patents office! In which case we'd best give it square corners...

Kiwi jetpack gets all-clear for manned tests

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Re: Just wondering....

Dunno, but in the UK almost all petrol stations have roofs over them. I wouldn't fancy having to land this 25 feet from the pump and then drag it in - it looks a mite heavy!

ISPs: Relax. Blocking porn online won't really work

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Re: So by "active choice" call-me-Dave meant *his* choice to opt everyone *in* by default.

The vote in 2014 is only so Wee Eck can be First King of Scotland (reprise), and then hand over a bucket of fail to Ms Sturgeon. It's a stupid idea, and if I had my way the whole of Holyrood would be disbanded - it's a huge waste of money.

Also, as already pointed out, what makes you think "our" policiticians are any better than "your" politicians? B-Ark, the lot of them (First Class of course!)

Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless Plus: Triple-tech connectivity for the home

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I've resorted to these before

In a steel-framed house that's partially wired with Cat5e, these became a godsend for getting Wifi into the adjoining granny-flat. Speed between the adapters was about 155Mb/sec, which was fine for XBox / Sky streaming, and it got around the nasty steel frame.

The only downside was the RCD between the main house and the granny-flat, so I had to use the Wifi to get past that.

In a nutshell, this is a great little box for extending a wireless network properly. Not like these wireless repeaters that just relay whatever noise they can detect. It geniunely sprouts a new instance of your wireless network in a separate location. RFI from powerline ethernet is a concern, but not with that particular house.

£100 well spent.

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

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Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Well, AC there pretty much answers what I was wondering. If Sony are being lauded for not being asses about DRM and connectivity, and people are swearing off the XBone, what does this mean for gamers who vowed never to buy anything from Sony again after their treatment of George Hotz? After all, it'll be a while before CoD is out on the Wii...

It's almost like good cop / bad cop only nobody can remember who's who...

Linux kernel 3.9 lands

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As someone running a Linux home office here...

I have an Xubuntu desktop and a Centos 6.3 server (also running a couple of VMs under KVM). For the server stuff, Linux just runs and runs and runs. For the desktop stuff, I still have niggles.

Honestly, is there a decent RDP client for Linux, because I'm running Remmina, and whilst it's close, I still have lots of issues with it. Also locking up whilst playing music (or it might be Flash - nothing is logged),and YP is a bit of a pain in the arse. I'm going to get around to an LDAP setup, but it's a faff.

For all it's faults, Windows tends to just work straight away. At the same time, I'm glad to have a little space from it. Oh the dichotomy!

Sonic the Hedgehog

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Re: The speed.


As soon as you picked up any real speed you just couldn't see what was happening because the screen hardware wasn't up to it. Still, a damn fine game (one of the best on the GG), and pretty good handheld console for its day (despite the appalling battery life).

My wife had a Megadrive. Still has it, not that it gets spun up these days. Got a Megadrive emulator on the XBox, with all her old games on it. Keep meaning to get around to wiring a Megadrive controller up to it...

Intel demos inexpensive 100Gb/sec silicon photonics chip

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But as was mentioned on The Reg...

Just the other day it was reported that the weak point of the fibre is the fibre itself. Get rid of that and use a hollow tube, and you're looking at upping signal speeds by 40% or something...

However, I suspect they really meant turning them on and off faster. Nice to know that either could be done though. And more colours. And more cables in parallel.

The only remaining question is will it blend / play Crysis / carry all the porn blah blah that everyone always asks...

Mali to give away .ML domains for free

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QR Code Redirects

That's what this should be ideal for. Register as short a name as you can, ending in .ml - then embed it in your own company's QRs on marketing literature. Using a short domain allows you to use more basic codes. Redirect to "full" domain for website. Done.

I can't honestly think of any other reason I'd want one, and I have a short domain for QRs anyway. So, all in all, "meh" from me.

Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

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Notification lamp

I don't wear glasses, but I can see the day coming... However, I would really consider it a feature to have an LED in the frame at one side, shining sideways into the lens, with a refractive prism ground into the lens to direct the light to your eye. Then you'd have an unobtrusive status lamp for (as John Robson says) email, SMS, voicemail, phone ringing, whatever. It'd be a USP for glasses over contacts, keeping you informed without being information overload.

The Oric-1 is 30

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Re: Fond memories

John Menzies on Princes Street was brilliant as a kid poking the various computers. Good times!

Razzies set to torpedo Rihanna's Battleship

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Re: Oh, Battleship

Seriously, you paid far too much attention to that film. Besides that, all points are valid. Have a beer and try to forget.

Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

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Re: But...

So nobody else remember the "Shotgun" modems that Diamond used to do? Channel-bonding over PSTN - 100kb/sec.

(Although that said, he did say he had ISDN. If it was (almost certainly) ISDN2e, it would be 2x64kb, and channel-bonding was easy. Technically it wouldn't have been a modem though.)

Fireflies donate gut feelings to LED research

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Re: Sems to be an optical impedance matching layer ffor optical devices

Hopefully it can be used for solar cells (they could really use a boost), but just being able to improve lighting efficiency alone is brilliant (bad pun). I have 5W LEDs in the kitchen that replaced 50W halogens. If they could be 3.5W instead, there's a saving. It's not big, but it looks like the cost implication will be minimal, and saving energy is saving energy.

And what about other devices? Can this be used to lower the power consumption of LCD monitors by increasing the efficiency of the backlight? Can it be used to make plasma screens more efficient? Perhaps there's some peculiarity that restricts it to LEDs, but it's worth considering.

Very interesting - I like this.

FAVI smacks your dumb TV with £30 Android SmartStick

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Does anyone know if it can be used with a Slingbox easily? If so it could be a perfect travelling companion!

'Instagram, you were my favourite app and you stabbed me in the back'

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"Legal documents are easy to misinterpret."

Then fire your legal team. Legal documents must be utterly free of ambiguity so that if someone challenges them you can defend your position. Sure, sometimes the language used can be in knots and a bind to untangle, but there should be no way to come dto a diffrerent conclusion than that intended by the author.

Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

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Re: This is what I don't understand...

I saw scenario 6 on the streets of Edinburgh. Policeman took down ne'er-do-well with a well-placed motorbike after the culprit started to become a danger. It was brilliant. Of course the little old dears who saw it moaned bitterly along the lines of "WAAAA! Stupidd person got hurt!" It was still brilliant.

Who's got option 7, because I'm looking forward to that!?

2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

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Will the super-rich really go for this?

It's a lot of money, and what do you get?

4 days of in-flight meals and not a lot to do on the way there. After all, there's no room to move because room=payload. Also, I expect entertainment options would be limited - every kWh = payload.

How long on the moon? Do they get to go outside? Are they expected to do anything whilst they're there (like pick up moonrocks or anything)?

4 days of in-flight meals on the way back again.

That's a bit over a week in travelling for what is only likely to be hours on the surface. Yes, I know Cernan and Schmidt stayed on the moon for 3 days or so, but that was a fairly proven system and no comforts. I don't imagine many billionaires will want to do without their comfy beds for 10 days.

It's a nice idea, but I don't think the people who can afford to do it will want to and vice-versa.

Russia steps into NASA's place on upcoming ESA Mars plans

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Re: This Musk guy

For one, as an American he's more inclined than us British to blow his own trumpet, so to speak. Americans typically shout out louder regarding their achievements, whilst that's regarded as comparatively vulgar over here. Not saying that that's good or bad, or that all Americans do it - it's just a lot more common "over there". Secondly, he's a salesman. He wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't push his own solution over a competitor's. Especially when he owns the company.

Besides that, SpaceX is a young, brash company. Give them a decade or so, and they'll also be able to quietly sit back with a spectacular track record and say "why, yes we have!" (hopefully). Good luck to them.

XBMC coders acquire TVonics brand

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XBMC on a set-top box?

I fucking love this!

That is all.

Tosh grabs 2.5-incher, heads for single platter party

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7mm thin?

That annoys me. I know I'm being an arse about it, but it's 7mm *thick*. Measuring 'thinness' is a bloody annoying marketingism.

Neil Armstrong dies aged 82

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A humble man who only wanted to teach

He was one of those people who had greatness thrust upon them. From what I understand, be was never comfortable with that greatness, and only really wanted to be allowed to be a man. It's probably worth remembering at this point that not only will a world remember his passing, but he'll be mourned personally by his family and friends. My sympathies to them, and I hope their personal tragedy won't become some media circus.

Ten monster tellies to suit all budgets

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Just went shopping last week

Picked up an LG 50PM670T - 50" 1920x1080 plasma. It'll do online (wired ethernet), 3d (glasses not included), Freeview, and has 4x HDMI ports.

Picture: Crap out-the-box. Needs all the "enhancement" stuff turned off, and then it's absolutely great. Really nice image.

Sound: Flat and quiet. I'd heard this about this screen before, but it all goes through my AV amp and Kefs anyway, so I wasn't bothered. Lip-sync has been a bit of a laugh, but I think I've got it all tuned out now.

Would I recommend one? Yes, if you have a separate audio output.

Ten Android games

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Carmageddon - coming soon!

I played Carmageddon to death in DOS way back in the day, and now an enhanced version is coming to Android and iOS. Looking forward to that one!

Also, there are emulators for Megadrive, GBA, SNES etc. Not to mention ScummVM (as mentioned above) and DOSBox. That opens up a huge number of games to Android. Nothing too taxing, of course, but there are plenty of fun games out there!

Reg readers scrap over ultimate bacon sarnie

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Sauce? Seriously?

I'm no veggie, before anyone starts, but that pig died to be on my roll, and the least I can do is appreciate the poor bastard. That poor, delicious bastard.

Shit - I don't have any bacon in...

USB charges up to 100 watts

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Now instead of trying to figure out where the hell my wife has left my phone charger every time she misplaces her own, I'll also have to figure out where she left my laptop charger?

Maybe if there were some central way of delivering power at a reasonable voltage (let's say 45-50V) without getting carried away on the current, where you could just draw DC out of the wall and save all this tedious mucking about with finding chargers. Something like PoE, but maybe about the same?

NEWS - vendor ups numbers, creates solution looking for problem.

WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

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Re: Failure by the NHS

Well, you have my sympathies, but I can't fault the NHS at all. In my experience if I want a regular appointment with my GP it takes nearly 2 weeks, but for an emergency I can generally be seen same-day. When I crashed my motorbike they couldn't have been more helpful (though the fracture clinic at the ERI is a zoo, and it's my one complaint I can level at them). When my kids were born 10.5 weeks early, though, I saw the NHS working fantastically. I saw parents dragged through hell in that place by bad luck, but throughout the whole experience the staff were as helpful, professional, friendly, courteous, patient and honest as they could be. If we had a USA-style medical industry, my children would probably be dead now. So would the wee lad Harris, who was born 12 weeks early. So would the cute little triplet girls with the Thai parents who almost filled one of the ICU rooms. And a dozen or so others that I can remember from my stint in there. There's something about watching a baby in an uncubator being rushed out of the ward by a helicopter crew whilst the parents are chasing it with their luggage that makes you pause and think (a) that could have been me, and (b) they're really doing everything they can.

Does the NHS have problems? Yes, it most certainly does. But most of these problems (from where I've seen it, and from the people I've spoken to) have been due to management incompetence at some level or another. The people in the trenches trying to save lives and cure sick people work fucking hard and deserve a lot of respect.

I'd rather have a safety net for everyone that faily the unlucky few (and I do know people who've been failed too), than the patchwork that the USA has.

Join the gov consultation on net porn ... and have your identity revealed

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Service unavailable

I put it down to submitting "wrong" answers...

AMD and Intel mainstream desktop CPUs

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Re: AMD meets most people's needs and is a good value

Whilst the sentiment is laudable, don't delude yourself about being able to avoid Intel. You might not buy their products directly, but you'll find their chips in all kinds of hardware.

I don't think they're as pervasive as they used to be, but they're still everywhere.

Oh, and my desktop is AMD/ATI, and SI is my home server, so not trying to sell you on Intel.

Strong ARM: The Acorn Archimedes is 25

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Re: Some comments from the Project Manager.....

MS-DOS? My A420/1 came with DR-DOS. Bloody cheapskates...

Still ended up with 4MB and 25MHz. Still wanted an IDE or SCSI podule...

Carmageddon coder seeks gamers' cash for revamp

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Re: Wow

That is why I was so thrilled when the Glide patch came out for the original. Voodoo a-go-go. I don't think it ever slowed down (but then it's been a while so I may have my rosy specs on).

US gov boffins achieve speeds faster than light

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Quake. Deathmatch. Now.

Quake - I'm showing my age now. Sorry - I'll get back to work...

ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

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Re: Acorn for schools

Don't forget that Aleph1 offered a podule with a Cyrix 486SLC to fit into the 300/400/500 series. Not as tidy or capable as the RiscPC option (which would take a Pentium Overdrive chip (remember them?), but bloody clever, and a big step up from the 80186 offered by the software emulator.

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Re: Great article

The A3000 wasn't out until about 1989/1990 - the 1987 models were the A310, A410 and A440 if I recall correctly. I had the A420/1 which came out in 1989, and the A3000 came out soon after. A great piece of miniaturisation, but hamstrung slightly by the lack of a hard drive. 2.5" drives appeared that could fit inside later.

As for the Mandelbrot drawing, I converted a BASIC program to ARM assembly and then hand-optimised it. The innerloop was 13 instructions long, and the rest of it was just dumping a value to the framebuffer. It could do 320x256 fractals at 5fps (although, to be fair, it mirrored one half, so 2.5fps). Such was the power of hand-optimised ARM code. You could bash out a program like that in half an hour, and then spend a week teasing out every extra clock cycle. And figuring out that ot only was inline conditional execution faster than branching, but LT is faster than GE (by one cycle).

Still that was ARM2/2.5/3, so I guess things have changed since. Now please excuse me - I've been typing this whilst being assaulted by a 3-year-old...

WD soaked in sales cash bonanza after Thai flood hell

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Re: WD, Seagate, and ... anybody else? Anyone?

"The lack of competition and higher prices probably aren't important to enterprise buyers - it is just a marginal inconvenience, but a very small bump in the costs of a datacentre"

If you can get the drives. Maybe it's different for big enterprise, but for SME it's virtually impossible to get your hands on SAS drives.

Ten... eight-bit classic games

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Some great 8-bit games post-1984...

Revs, Stryker's Run (and its sequel, Codename Droid), Zalaga, Repton (and especially Repton2), and, of course, Exile. Exile was truly epic.

You can tell I had a BBC Micro...

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Re: Getting in on the titles-you-didn't-pick wagon...

Zalaga - responsible for the total destruction of the switch under my Return key.

Frak! - impressive graphics handling, but ultimately quite slow.

Firetrack - A fantastic game; one of the greats on the Beeb. I remember the author (Orlando) telling me that the music from the loading routine was called "She's The Main Attraction". He's your cousin? Say thanks for me, please!

Boffins tout solar efficiency boost

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Re: Err, limiting factor.

It all depends on where you are. 1000W/m^2 is regarded as Standard Test Conditions, and is what the specified output of the solar cells will be reached under, but there have been a few occasions this month where my own installation has exceeded STC output, and that's in Scotland... Certainly if you were to use the same panels on the Isle of Wight, they'd produce significantly more given the same cloud coverage.

I've been trying to find a solar insolation map to tag onto this, but they all deal with average kWh/year, which I suppose makes sense. Ho-hum.

Zuckerberg blew $1bn on Instagram 'without telling Facebook board'

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Re: The elephant in the room which everyone appears to be avoiding commenting on .....?

Good point. Without the bankers, accountants, lawyers and myriad other hangers-on he's probably actually got a bargain!

Lovefilm: video streaming outplays disc rentals

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Guess I'm not normal then...

I hardly stream anything from LoveFilm. Wife's watched a couple of TV series, and I've watched a couple of movies on my laptop, but while I can't do streaming to my XBMC I'll keep pestering the post office.

I want my movies on my TV, and I want my soundtracks through my 5.1 amp. And the reliable way of doing that is with plastic discs right now.

Testicle-boiling new iPad ignites fanboi fury

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Wake me up when it's news...

Now I'm usually quite vocal when it comes to bashing Apple's more idiotic products, and I have no great love for a giant mobile phone, but this seems to be a non-event. What, 44 deg C? Meh. So it's working harder than the old version - not a big surprise, especially given the battery. Maybe the backlight is getting hot, in which case it may be wise to turn the brightness down a little (and vastly increase your battery life). Maybe the CPU is getting hot, in which case I'm sure a patch will come along soon that'll throttle it to keep it within reasonable thermal parameters.

Let's be honest, it's not a supercomputer, so it doesn't need to run full-throttle all the time. Especially without Flash support...

I still feel that they should have shipped a sort-of iPad 2+ with the faster CPU and huge battery, but the old screen. Would have had fantastic battery life, and probably have run cooler to boot.

Executive summary: "So what?"

Enormous Apple market cap swells and swells ... like a bubble

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Re: Apple are successful and that isn't going to change soon

Yep - for a company that doesn't issue a dividend, and has too much cash in it to be subject to a takeover, I can't for the life of me see why the stock is valued so highly. Sure, it's a stable, profitable company, but if shareholders can't realise a return from investing then what's the point?

In a nutshell, the price can't keep rising at this rate. Not forever. That's when the bubble will burst. Hell, it might not even burst, but just settle and stop - then a lot of people are going to be sitting with very expensive pieces of paper...

Apple Store staff outnumber queues as new iPad goes on sale

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One of two things:

Either Apple have got their supply and distribution in order after the debacle of the iPhone 4S, or purchasers have realised that it's basically the same thing as before with a few upgrades and haven't whipped themselves into a frenzy...

Frankly, etiher option is good.

World's Raspberry Pi supply jammed in factory blunder

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Re: Guess what

@the hot stick melts the shiny stuff - I may be drunk but that sounds awfully like my own soldering. Made me chuckle regardless - I'll give you a thumbs-up for that, but that alone.

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