* Posts by druck

1585 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

BMW readies 7-series hybrid

druck
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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

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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

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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

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Boffin

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

druck
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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

druck
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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?

druck
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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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Alert

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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