* Posts by druck

1499 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

Supersonic bizjets could have windowless flight decks

druck
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Boffin

Look out the side windows like everyone else

I don't fly a long nosed supersonic aircraft, but what my plane does have is a damn great engine and prop blocking the view at the front. As you descend to land the plane is at a fairly flat attitude, so you can see the runway and line up on it, but as you flare you loose sight of everything ahead, but we still manage to do a decent landing - most of the time!

How? By looking out of the side windows! That is sufficient to judge the height of the aircraft during the hold off and maintain a straight path along the runway before and after touch down. There are even markings along the side telling you how far you are down it, just in case you are getting close to the far end. All looking forward does is show you a long expanse of black stuff, which you know is empty as you checked before landing, and wouldn't have got clearance from the tower if it wasn't.

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Jacqui Smith resurrects 42-days after Lords rejection

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14, 28, 42, 90, ... days

The real reason for ever longer detention is just a propaganda stunt for failed governments. On a potential bad news day, the government can just send out the menacing armed balaclava clad anti-terror police for some nice big high profile raids, rounding up dozens of dark skinned individuals in a couple of northern cities, plus a quiet home counties suburb for maximum hysteria. They'll be plenty of leaked briefings about ricin, sarin, TATP, airliners and maybe even a dirty bomb, as there is nothing like a bit of nuclear to put the willies up the general public.

Trouble is when you have to let them all go again because you can't charge any of them even with the dozens of anti-terror laws, such as "suspicion of conspiring to read material which could be interpreted by Daily Mail readers as being useful in the preparation of a terrorist act", it tends to result in a bit of bad publicity. However if you can hang on to them for several months, that will have given you time to see if you can get them on any immigration irregularities, benefit frauds, tax avoidance, or failing that, turn up a bit of kiddie porn on their computer, or even better, the latest catch all with a definition so wide you could drive a bus through it; "extreme porn".

When someone finally remembers asks; what about all those people that were arrested a few months ago? The government can assure us they are all safely locked away for a range of heinous crimes. But of course there are many more out there just waiting at the even severer end of server, so it's necessary to have 90/180/365 days detention without trail.

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Texan boffins working on electric cyber-heart

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Time?

Will you loose your sense of time without a pulse?

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Home Office preps fudgetastic ISP data rules

druck
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We need more spam

When EUDRD is made law, we need more spam. Deluge every ISP with more useless junk to log that it is economically capable of storing for 5 years, and let it crumble.

Perhaps we could also come up with some giant peer to peer system that continually makes connections with random machines on email, web and instant messenger ports, just to create billions of bogus log entries 24/7.

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Revo Pico RadioStation DAB+ radio

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What are they trying to sell you?

Mono, poor quality, limited reception, extremely expensive - what are they trying to sell you? A worse experience than a 1930's valve radio? The word 'digtal' really has become synonymous with shite.

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Vista scrabbles for X Factor

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Has anyone actually seen it?

I was flicking through the channels last night, and was unfortunate to have actually seen it. There is a bunch of unattractive people reeling off their dull occupations, then sounding like complete knob heads by saying "I'm a PC". If it was "I use a PC", it wouldn't be so bad, and you might be able to make it all the way until the the orange screen containing the words "Microsoft Vista" before vomiting.

But "I'm a PC", twats, twats, twats.

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Spectrum Bridge solves the white space problem

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Pile up of the airwaves

"Large lots aren't just split up by geography on SpecEx; spectrum can also be licensed by time both in terms of slots, such as allowing multiple licensees to share a frequency on alternate seconds, and time of day."

This makes about as much sense, and will probably work less well, than selling each lane of a motorway (US freeway) in both in geographical chunks and time. Each 100 meter (yard) section of each lane would have traffic running in alternate directions at different times of the day. On top of that you'd allow more "white space" vehicles to drive up the gaps between lanes.

It's all going to lead to one almighty pile up, and no one will be going anywhere over the airwaves.

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Wireless-data LED lamps to replace lightbulbs - US profs

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@M7S

"if you fit a receiver to news produced cars, the LED warning lamps now being fitted to emergency vehicles coud over-ride your stereo to say "Get out of the way". Nicely, or not."

If you haven't seen the flashing lights and heard the sirens over your stereo, you shouldn't be out on the road.

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Lords to attack UK.gov failings on internet security

druck
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Confidence?

"In our initial report we raised concerns that public confidence in the internet could be undermined if more was not done to prevent and prosecute e-crime."

Or more is not done to prevent ISPs selling our internet communications to highly dubious companies like Phorm.

Or more is not done to prevent the government spending £12billon of our own money on storing our internet communications for highly dubious reasons.

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Reading privacy policies takes 10 minutes on average

druck
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Simple

Either:-

A. We don't give your details to anyone else, and only keep them as long as necessary to perform the service you have requested.

or

B. We'll sell everything we can find out about you to anyone willing to give us money.

I think that covers all the possibilities.

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Captain Cyborg to chew the fat with Ultra Hal

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Fail

Warwick explained: "I would say now that machines are conscious, but in a machine-like way, just as you see a bat or a rat is conscious like a bat or rat, which is different from a human. ."

Human? Fail.

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ITV gets adverts into video

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Gates Horns

Worse than Gates

This is a worse that Bill Gates' idea of a TV service which was to have the program showing on one side of the screen, and "interactive content" (read adverts) on the other. At least with that you could have put a blanket over one side of your widescreen telly, and watched fairly unmolested crap in 4:3 on the other. But knowing the bastard that he is, he would have swapped over which side was which all the time.

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Elvis has left the border: ePassport faking guide unleashed

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@Joe Blogs

That's why such a reader should not perform any security checks, and only display the contents. Then anyone with a fake passport will think it's ok, and wont know for sure until they get to the actual border post, where you'd hope the full blown authentication process will take place.

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How many terabytes can you fit on a 2.5-inch hard drive?

druck
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More expensive storage may be an advantage

I wouldn't mind seeing storage technology stall and not go over today's densities for quite a while, that would mean very large storage arrays become much more expensive. Without the prospects of almost unlimited amounts of cheap storage, governments would not be able force through draconian laws mandating the indefinite storage of all communications data.

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BMW readies 7-series hybrid

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20hp?

The electric motor is only (427-407) 20hp? That's just a slightly larger than normal starter motor. Its even more of gimmick to get your overpowered luxury barge past the London congestion charge than the Lexus RX400.

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SCCs, MIDs to achieve laptop-matching sales by 2013

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7 to 1

Since I bought the original EEE PC 701, 7 of my friends and colleagues have bought SCC's (mainly EEE PC 900s, and MSI Winds), only one of them is running Windows. I think that's a good indication that the SCC market is growing, and in the right direction.

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EU confirms SMS and data roaming price caps

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VAT

The figured quoted will be without VAT and local taxes, which will probably bump them up to more than pay in the UK.

I welcome it anyway, as I've just been hit by £65 of GPRS charges from logging on twice in Germany, at an extortionate £5/MB.

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Miracle airship tech sustained by DARPA pork trickle

druck
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Boffin

Fusion

When we get fusion working, there should be plenty of helium available. If you could make the reactor small enough you could put it in the craft and make it as you go along, oh hold on it would use heavy hydrogen as fuel which would be even more buoyant. Oh never mind I'm sure we've got plenty of time to work that one out.

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Samsung unveils Small, Cheap Computer

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Lets play "they just don't get it" poker

I'll see your no Linux, no SDD, short battery life and too expensive, and I'll raise you silly small cursor keys.

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3G Americas warns against text warning systems

druck
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New Year

Anyone who wants to see how well an SMS emergency alert system would work only has to wait another couple of months until new year. Right on the dot of midnight everyone sends a "Happy New Year" text to everyone in their address book. I've still been receiving them on the evening of January 2nd.

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Axon takes 100mpg wonder car for a spin

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Re: weight and impacts

F1 cars use an incredibly strong carbon fibre tub to protect the driver, but there are big differences with a road car. The F1 car has wheels on long suspension arms and side pods, all of which are designed to deform and rip off reducing the impact, the nose cone although made of carbon fibre is a long structure designed to progressively unpeel like a banana, reducing forces. The most vulnerable orientation is a rear impact as the engine doesn't have any give.

The other difference is an F1 driver is incredibly fit, very tightly strapped in with a multipoint harness, and with a HANS device preventing neck damage, all of which will greatly increase his chances of surviving a high G impact, than you or I in a road car with a lap and shoulder belt.

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druck
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@Safety Issues

The most critical safety issue is due to the use of carbon fibre, it is very strong but not deformable. A more relevant Fifth gear test was when they crashed a Smart 42 (another very small, very light, very rigid car) in to a concert motorway block at 70mph. A few of the plastic panels popped off, but there was very little damage to the car, the structure remained intact, and the crash test dummies didn't experience a scratch. The only trouble being that because there was no deformation to reduce the huge g-forces experienced on impact, any human occupants would have died from massive internal injuries.

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Apple ARMs up iPhone

druck
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Re: Next stop, an Apple netbook

I'd love to see Apple producing an ARM powered netbook, after all its how ARM was started as a join venture between Acorn for their new range of desktops, and Apple for use on the innovative Newton hand held. However ARM are exclusively focused on ultra low power designs for devices such as the iPhone, and to compete in the netbook world you have to have something of equivalent performance to Intel's Atom, preferably with even lower power requirements.

It would take the former PA Semi engineers producing a design with a considerable increase in performance, similar to when DEC grafted on Alpha technology create the StrongARM, with 7x the performance of any existing ARM chip. When Intel gained DECs chip business they squandered all that lead, with the years late and very unimpressive XScale family.

However I suspect the answer is more mundane and Apple are going to take an existing ARM core and make a SOC with more of the iPhone support chips on board, as speculated in the article.

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Scientists study near-death sensations

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Near death experiance

"Journalist's impression of the brightly-lit-tunnel near-death sensation"

No, just a normal commute, about as close to a near death experience as it's possible to get.

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Robot airliner anti-missile escorts proposed

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Wake vortices

An absolutely stupid idea, another aircraft, even a computer controlled drone, cannot fly that close to a large airliner during take off due to wake vortices. Certainly not close enough to prevent a missile from locking on to the air liner during the early stages of flight. You either put the counter measures on the airliner itself, or you don't worry about threats far less likely than the crashes for other reasons such as Madrid.

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Seagate tries again with external drives

druck
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Stop

Cara<spit>vans

Don't mention caravans.

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NASA preps Atlantis for Hubble mission

druck
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Auto land?

A good question is if shuttle 2 rescues shuttle 1's crew, could shuttle 1 make an unmanned return to earth, and if it doesn't suffer significant re-entry damage, to auto land?

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CookieMonster nabs user creds from secure sites

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Widespread

Out of 10 banking an investment sites I've logged in to, only one is even using cookies set to "secure connections only", the rest are all "any connection", so I suspect the problem is extremely widespread.

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Intel X-25M solid-state drive

druck
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Dead Vulture

Didn't alter performance

"The revised firmware had no apparent effect and didn’t alter performance"

Apart from the almost 3% drop in average read speed shown in the screen shots.

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London Stock Exchange limps back online

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Gates Horns

Amazing reliability for MS

I think its an amazing achievement that a Microsoft system managed almost 15 months of uptime in a critical role before suffering a catastrophic failure, given the quality of code they produce.

But now that little experiment with Gate's toy has turned out the way everyone said it would and the opportunity to make untold millions have been lost, its time to put something in its place that wont fall over on the best trading day of the year, and to ensure the person responsible for commissioning it never works in financial services again.

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French firm intros remix-friendly music format

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It must be open

All the aims for this format could easily be achieved with out proprietary lock in, expensive commercial encoders, and codecs with limited platform availability. Any new format must be open, patent and/or royalty free, to prevent the ridiculous siltation of patent trolls using armed police to confiscate equipment from German trade shows.

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Pure Digital Evoke Flow internet radio

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Re: )))Stereo(((

Showing my age, but as someone who spent years of frustration waiting for Radio 1 to get their own FM stereo slot (rather than being given a few hours Radio 2s), and having to put up with all the best music being in horrid AM mono, I'd never consider buying any form of radio that wasn't stereo.

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DARPA funds radical disco-copter concept

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Re: Please enlighten me

I'm not convinced by the lift properties of a circular disc either. Plus if it was any good, or for that matter no good but possible, Great Britain would have had a prototype flying in the 1950s, like much of the stuff the US is still trying to 'invent' (e.g. Rotordyne).

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How Chrome puts the skids under Nokia

druck
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Chrome faster?

Apart from on javascript intensive pages, such as google's own maps, I've not found it to be faster than FF3 for any of the sites I frequent. Much of this has to be down to lacking adblock+ and noscript, meaning that all the slow to load flash ads, and 3rd party sites doing god knows what with javascript, which were a thing of the past for me using Firefox, make an unwelcome return on Chrome. You certainly notice the poorer experience because of it.

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EU parliament says yes to hydrogen cars

druck
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Hydrogen RX-8

Mazda have been playing with a hydrogen powered RX-8s in Japan, and you can even hire one when you are over there. It all sounds very good until you realise it takes a 250hp sports car with a normal range of 250 miles to the tank on petrol (the RX-8 is thirsty rotary beast), and turns it in to a limp wristed 110hp 4 door saloon which can only venture 120 miles away from the limited number of hydrogen filling stations.

Therefore I question Gunter Verhuegen's claim that his hydrogen BMW 7 series is very efficient. He'll probably be overtaken by tiny diesel blue motion Golfs on the autoban, when he isn't having to stop at each service station to pump in some more Hindenburg gas.

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UK's top boffin: Renewables targets were 'a mistake'

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Complete twat

"We don't have to pay for wind power - it just comes to us naturally," BWEA chief Maria McCaffery told the Beeb.

So all those wind turbines spontaneously grow out of the hillside or sea, wire themselves up to the grid, and never need any maintenance?

And there was me thinking they were white elephants which are going to make electricity even more expensive than the ridiculous levels it is today, and to leave even those that still can afford it sitting in the dark for days at a time, when the whole of northern Europe is becalmed.

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Phorm: Our business is fine, honest

druck
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Real Opt-in

I'm glad to hear that BT is considering a real opt-in mechanism, where customers who don't want to take part have their data physically segregated from Phorm's snooping equipment. This is opposed to Phorm's idea of an opt-in which is to snoop your traffic anyway and then decide whether to serve targeted or non targeted adds.

However, its not surprising that BT are finding providing segregation on a per customer basis to be difficult even in a small trial, and probably costly enough if rolled out across the board, to negate any income from Phorm. So there are two ways it could go, either they drop Phorm, or drop segregation making any opt-in choice entirely worthless.

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Dell launches Inspiron 9 mini laptop

druck
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Linux

How many extra steps?

Dell have jumped on the bandwagon, but missed the point of middle C in SCC, as have so many others. But it will be interesting to see how many extra steps and hassle it takes to order the Linux version rather than XP.

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LG prices up HSDPA-equipped mini laptop

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Yawn

Too expensive, and has XP rather than Linux. So get to the back of the queue behind all the other manufacturers that don't understand why the EEE 701 was successful.

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McCain: Keep Shuttle flying, don't trust Russia

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Don't loose the tech

Putting aside politics and global conflict for a moment, the call by McCain is not to take any action which would prevent the life of the Shuttle being extended.

We should not forget that ability to build the most powerful man rated rocket ever developed, the Saturn V, was very quickly lost once NASA started concentrating on the Shuttle program.

The Russian Soyuz rockets are from exactly the same era, but they didn't throw it all away when they built and successfully tested their own shuttle, the Buran.

If we still had Saturn V's, the ISS could have been constructed in a fraction of the time and cost, Saturn I's could be ferrying astronauts up and down indefinitely, and the return to the moon could be achieved any time a US president felt like it.

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US utilities plot remote switch off

druck
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Boffin

Re: Dynamic Demand

There's a nice meter of UK supply frequency at http://www.dynamicdemand.co.uk/grid.htm

It makes a lot of sense for devices which have cyclic power demands to monitor the mains frequency and delay their operation during peak demand (with manual override of course), as large spikes add considerably to the cost of generation.

As it is a legal requirement to keep the mains frequency within +/- 1% and to maintain an average of 50Hz over a 24 hour period, frequency is a good gauge of demand, with very little scope to be manipulated by the energy companies, unlike a external signal which they can use at will.

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Mobile broadband: What's it for?

druck
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Re; @ Solomon Grundy

"Apart from the annoyance the downsampled images in webpages it is solid"

On Vodafone you can stop this by using NoScript in Firefox to block the inserted javascript from 1.2.3.4, which makes the pages use the reduced size image proxy.

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Nuns face off in online beauty contest

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Don't let that stop you

Just pop 'nuns' in to google images with safe search off, and you'll soon get a holy eyefull, god help you.

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ARM elbows out Intel in Albatron's Eee beater

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Re: Have Balls

No it wont run x86 Windows, but worse than that it runs Windows Mobile. That offers a hopeless slow and limited web browsing experience, even if you install the far superior Opera, Firefox on the EEE is going to knock it in to a cocked hat. Microsoft's motley collection of mobile Office format viewers is also vastly inferior to a copy of Open Office shipped as standard on the EEE.

I'm all for the use of ARM over x86 in low power devices, but a 400MHz processor as used in 4 year old PDAs isn't the way to show case it, there are ARM cores with a lot more performance, and unshackled from the horribly inefficient Windows Mobile OS might have a chance against cheap Linux x86 netbooks at the lower end of the market. This device just smacks of being cheap and nasty.

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Intel hands out rose tinted polarizing glasses to chip geeks

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@@AC

One assumes you are using the UK definition of fanny, if it was the US meaning of the word, you'd need to go up a few screen sizes just to get it life size.

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The robot at the border: UK bets big on face scanning

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Easily fooled

If a couple of people who don't mind being disappeared for 42 days care to try, why not print out a life sized picture of your face on cardboard, then as long a no actual official is watching, swap pictures and passports when going through the scanner. Get someone else to take a snap of the shenanigans, and you could run off to a tabloid for a nice little earner on the resulting hysterical terrorist doom story.

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Intel adds 22nm octo-core 'Haswell' to CPU design roadmap

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Say it with pictures

Wouldn't some sort of graph be clearer, instead of all these names and numbers? Pretty much like the chip makers do themselves, with road maps showing how the architecture lines evolve.

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Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

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Jammed

If GPS is used for road pricing, it wont be the motorways that are jammed, but the GPS. The signals from the satellites are extremely weak, and a very low powered transmitter can block the signal over a large area. Its enviable this will be done to defeat the system, but will also have the side effect of denying other GPS uses, such as for road and air navigation.

The governments tax and surveillance nightmare could send us all back to the navigation stoneage in to the bargain, it needs to be resisted at all costs.

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Our plasmas last for 42 years, claims Panasonic

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The real question

Although it might take 100,000 hours to reach half brightness, the real question is do all colours degrade equally? It only takes one colour degrading by a few percent more than the others to give an unwatchable colour cast, even though the overall brightness is hardly affected.

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Microsoft running on at least 220,000 servers

druck
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Dead Vulture

Re Re: Global operations = global risk

I'm all for free speech, but can we keep the foaming at the moth crackpots and their downright offensive CIA conspiracy theories in topics relating to the Georgian conflict, and not allow them to infest the rest of the comments sections, it gets in the way of a decent round of Microsoft bashing.

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