* Posts by druck

1569 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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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Celio Redfly Windows smartphone terminal

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Utterly pointless

Not only are you going to get laughed at for buying a crock of a WM phone to start with, but doubly so when someone discovers its not actually a net-book you are using, but its just something which blows up all the inadequacies of Windows Mobile on to an 8" screen. When they find out you've paid almost twice as much as what an EEE PC 701 now goes for, they'll probably give themselves a hernia from laughing so hard.

As Cobblers says, get an EEE or any one of the hoard of similar net-books, and use any phone you like as a modem. You'll have a fast, reliable system (if you go with the Linux versions), running Firefox and all the plug-ins which is a universe away from the hopeless WM browsing experience. Open Office is also vastly more compatible than using the crippled little WM Office apps.

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Ryanair cancels aggregator-booked tickets in escalating scraping war

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RE: Well thats me walking..

The Ryan Air site uses Microsoft only Silverlight for the routes map, as mentioned by an earlier Register story. I don't know if its needed for booking, but having looked at the steaming pile of shite that is the rest of their site, I wouldn't dream of making a booking with it. As they've now banned comparison sites and 3rd party bookings, they'll not be getting any of my business.

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Brown's website is Web2.0tastic

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URL?

Would it be too much to ask for a URL so we can go and laugh at this steaming pile of Web 2.0 nu-badger?

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Man buys $1,000 worth of iPhone pixels by accident

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Dead Vulture

@Michael Duke

Talking of retards, this is the umpteenth topic I've seen that comment on SATA discs posted to. Where is the moderatrix?

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Orange sees broadband subscriber exodus

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Genetically flawed.

Orange nee Wanadoo nee Freeserve. Say no more.

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Slimmer and lighter cameras promised

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See what you are getting

I've always had compact or high zoom digital cameras with electronic viewfinders, and it wasn't until I borrowed a friends DSLR recently did I realise what I'd been missing out on - actually seeing what I was taking a picture of.

It was a shock to see a full clear representation of what will be in the photo through the viewfinder, rather than a fuzzy, laggy, almost impossible to see in sunlight, square of LCD pixels. I'll definitely be going for a proper digital SLR for my next camera.

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Google: 'Even in the desert, privacy does not exist'

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Boffin

Not satellite

Satellite images, at least the ones google uses, aren't a threat to privacy, as you wont even see your house unless its the size of the googleplex. All the high resolution overhead shots are _aerial_ photography.

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Official: Eee PC range to expand

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Listen

In case Asus are a bit hard of hearing, let me shout to remind them why the 701 was so sucessful:-

TWO HUNDRED QUID

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Robotic camera mount captures panoramic wonders

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Happy

Your own twin

Will it be like those panoramic cameras they used to do the school photograph? Every year someone would stand at one end then run round the back of the camera to appear again at the other, making their own twin.

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Set sail with Garmin's seafaring satnav

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Not under the sea

Boating; yes, sub aquatic Lotuses; no. GPS doesn't work under water, unless you trail and antenna to the surface, which might give the game away to Stromberg...

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LG plotting autumn offensive against Eee PC?

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Missing the point again

They are missing the point again. £200 is the target price for these types of devices not £350. Ok, back just after Christmas I'd waited so long for the EEE 701, I paid nearer £250 to get hold of it. But I would not have even considered buying it if it was over the £300, that's in to full size lap top territory.

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Reding vows Autumn assault on EU data roaming charges

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Data roaming rip off

Can't come too soon for me. My bill this month is an extra £40 due to a few MBs of data from my EEE while I was camping at Le Mans. Vodafone couldn't even tell me the exact cost before I went, and the price per MB isn't entirely consistent on the bill either, despite it all being from their recommended partner network of SFR.

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Has ISO already rejected anti-OOXML appeals?

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Bastards at BSI

What's the news on the complaints against the BSI for reversing their initial outright rejection of OOXML without following their own procedures?

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Google and the End of Science

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google fight

Did it really need 4 pages to dismiss this web 2.0 style nonsense. If google fight had been round in Copernicus' day, would they have just put in "earth-centred" and "sun-centred" and accepted the one with the most number of hits?

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Holidaymaker gets £31k data roaming bill

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How much

Its not always easy to find out how much the data tariff is before going. Last time I took the laptop over to Europe I checked on the website and it mentioned "up to £12.50 per MB" so I phoned the enquires number to ask what they exact rate for France was, they couldn't tell me, I'd have to get in touch which ever network I was connected to. They couldn't even say for their recommended choice of SFR, bloody useless. At least they've now put up the exact cost of £5/MB on the website.

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TVonics MFR-300 micro digital TV set-top box

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Grannies wont get it

Back when they turned off the old 405 line analogue signal they claimed the switch over to 625 line was a sucess as only a couple of people complained. Well it wasn't quite the case.

When I was a toddler we used to go round to travel to granny's once or twice a year. We'd put the TV on but I could never watch kiddies TV (which I think just consisted of Playschool back then) in the morning, because it was on BBC2 and unknown to her at that time it was a 405 line set and BBC2 was only broadcast on 625 line.

The next year granny apologised that we couldn't watch TV as it had broken, and was just displaying static. What actually happened was they'd switched off 405 line signal, and the set was working, but now as much use as chocolate teapot. She didn't realise this, and didn't watch the TV that much anyway, so didn't want to complain.

The same thing will probably happen with my mother in 2 years time when analogue is switched off. She wouldn't have a clue that one of these boxes are needed, and wouldn't want to fiddle around with the aerial lead anyway. She wont have to as I bought her a digital ready LCD when the last set stopped working, but it needs an aerial upgrade as the existing loft one doesn't pick up any digital MUXs despite having a good analogue signal.

If its left to her she probably wont do it before the signal is switched off, and I will find her sitting there knitting in the dark, because she didn't want to complain.

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Chillblast Fusion Juggernaut gaming PC

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Dead Vulture

Comparisons

The text seems to suggest this is fastest machine reviewed to date, but the Alienware Area 51 ALX scores better results across the board. That review compares it with the Mesh Q8, please can we always have closest equivalent system's figures shown on any performance graph, as otherwise its just a bunch of fairly meaningless numbers.

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Bill Gates has gone, what's his legacy?

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Gates Horns

Visonary my arse

"History will record Gates as a visionary. Gates was a bits and bytes man"

My arse he was. His only real programming was Altair BASIC, Gates is a business man, one of the most shrewd, cunning and ruthless ones that has ever existed, but not a visionary. He had a lucky break selling someone else's DOS to IBM, and has capitalised on it for nearly 3 decades, running rings around the competition and regulators, making a success of Microsoft's late to market, mediocre clones of true innovators products.

Microsoft has screwed over its competitors so successfully, it has taken the rise of a completely different business model of open source development, which can't be bought up and crushed, to emerge and take the running. Gates has shown no vision in the last couple of years to be able tackle this new threat.

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Cambridge congestion charge plans shelved

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Bribe?

If central government has the half billion pounds to improve transport in Cambridge, why is there the bribe of getting the local council to introduce congestion charging?

Could it be the only way this gutless government can force its agenda of national road pricing on us, is piecemeal council by council. In the same was as its trying to sneak in ID cards for certain groups at a time, while making it more difficult for everyone else to avoid?

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Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

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Analogue Cars

So who is going to pay to have the highly integrated proprietary manufacturer's head unit in my car upgraded to DAB when they switch analogue FM off? I won't be, so I guess I wont be listening to any radio whatsoever after that, as that's the only time I do at the moment. The 6 disc CD changer might get a bit more use, or perhaps I'll just enjoy the sound of the engine instead, its often better.

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Sub-£100 Eee rival ship date slips

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Tipping

As nice as the girlie is, if she takes her hand off the machine, its going to tip over backwards isn't it?

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FCC tests 'vindicate' white space lobby

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Won't Work, Can't Work

As Mage says above, this wont work because it just can't work. Only fuckwits like Microsoft who think they are too big to be governed by the laws of Physics think otherwise.

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MoD proposes Salisbury Plain spy-plane droid playground

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Doodlebug tipping

I wonder if you come in high from the rear without being seen, you can tip the UAV in to instability like the Spitfires used to do with doodlebugs in WWII. Should be even easier in a high wing, but they might notice Cessna tyre prints on the wreckage.

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Amazon.com's US site KO'd!

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IMDB was down too

It also took out www.imdb.com too, but no holding page in that case, just a very unhelpful 404.

Interestingly, trying the last two addresses for it in the Amazon net blocks reported by Netcraft, (72.21.211.32 and 207.171.166.140) I was able to access the site, which functioned except for returning broken links to images.

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Tiscali subscribers to be sold to Vodafone tomorrow: report

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Alert

Phorm

Interestingly Vodafone's WAP portal has a phorm like setting for if you want your usage tracked to serve you customised ads or not. It has 3 settings, non customised, customised using your WAP browsing history, and customised using browsing history and all other information Vodafone has on you. I disconnected at that point as I was just checking to see if WAP was as CRAP on my new phone as the last one (and it was). Lets hope they don't install the same system on any broadband they get their hands on.

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Tech luminaries honor database god Jim Gray

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Black Helicopters

Tribute?

"The No-Fly List," Lindsay said. "Brought to you by Jim Gray."

I thought it was supposed to be a tribute? Nobody would want that travesty of liberties to be on their epitaph.

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OMTP publishes standard, but what is it really securing?

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No more Talks

This will break accessibility software such as Talks, which needs to hook in to all sorts of operating system routines, by fair means or foul, in order to gather the information it needs on what has changed on the screen, so it to be spoken to sight impaired users.

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Tory proposes street-legal Segway legalisation

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No

Britain does not want to be come a nation of fat lazy bastards, well any more than it is at the moment. You either walk or you get on a bike. Bikes are bad enough on the roads without some 6mph gyroscopically stabilised mountain of lard holding up traffic and ignoring red lights.

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Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

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Anonymous ballot

Edwin wrote: "I don't really care *who* knows what I voted"

You wouldn't say that if you wanted to vote for the opposition in Zimbabwe. With our hard won freedoms being systematically ripped from the statute book and ever more crimes and pre-crimes created in their place, don't fool yourself in to thinking we could never be put under the same sort of pressure in an election.

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Airbus jets could be converted to fuel-cell propulsion

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Silly idea

No pilot of any sort of plane will accept the idea of only turning the engine on at the end of the runway, and immediately taking off. Power checks are needed first to give you confidence they aren't going to fail at the worst possible time, which is immediately after take off. In commercial jets this is done on the taxi out, smaller planes stop at the hold points, in either case it involves burning as much fuel as a good few minutes taxiing.

Finally the idea of putting electric motors on the landing gear powerful enough to taxi the plane, even slowly, is fraught with difficulties. The gear is designed to be very light otherwise you need even more powerful hydraulic gear to retract it. Also under emergency gravity assisted deployment if it is too heavy it might rip itself off. It is enough of a challenge to compensate for the aerodynamic changes while deploying the gear without factoring in further weight and balance instability.

Lastly by far the most important consideration is fuel efficiency in the air where the plane spends more of its time, and any excess aircraft weight is a non starter. Its just another hair brained idea by the carbon cultists, which ends up causing more problems that it solves, and will have no effect on climate change.

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