* Posts by RNixon

53 posts • joined 14 Oct 2012

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GarageBanned: Apple's music app silenced in iOS 11 iCloud blunder

RNixon

Re: Yawn

Overnight? OS X was released in 2001 and didn't lose the ability to run Mac OS 9 programs until Leopard in 2007.

PowerPC Macs had a Motorola 680x0 emulator, so old programs kept working. There were compatibility issues with some, of course. Intel Macs came out in 2006, and PowerPC programs worked until the 2011 release of 10.7 Lion.

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Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

RNixon

Modern printers and scanners connect wirelessly, as do quite a few keyboards and mice.

If you really want to use a wired keyboard AND mouse AND monitor, get a USB-C docking station that has HDMI, multiple USB, ethernet, and will also charge the thing at the same time. Or better yet, get a Thunderbolt docking station, since one of the ports is Thunderbolt. Oh, and both of the USB ports also work as DisplayPort outputs, if you just want to plug up a projector for a presentation.

What's the obsession with lading a slim'n'light laptop up with legacy ports the vast majority of customers will never use? Subnotebooks have never had a plethora of ports without adding a big ol' docking station.

(And a price note: While the 2-in-1 XPS13 does 'start at' $999, the version with the 4K screen is $1600 list. Is El Reg comparing the 4k UK price to the 1080p/i5 US price?)

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Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

RNixon

Alas, Edge is the only browser that doesn't suck on Windows with touch.

I'd really like to have a browser choice for my small Windows tablet, but Chrome and Firefox both removed their touch UI options, and non-touch-UI-aware browsers are a pain to use on an 8" touchscreen.

I don't use it on my desktop, but on my tablet Edge is about the only browser that's usable.

(I do use the pen quite a bit, so the pen input updates will be nice, as will the new software keyboard.)

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WannaLaugh? Funsters port WannaCrypt to Commodore, Cisco, Nintendo and Tesla

RNixon

Re: Does anyone seriously use the in-car stuff ?

Toyotas typically use a standard double-DIN design. My old Corolla had a standard single-DIN.

Sometimes they round the corners off a little, though.

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BlackBerry's comeback: El Reg gets its claws on the QWERTY KEYone

RNixon

Re: @Rnixon Sadly, I predict failure

Nope, I was never able to find a demo model anywhere, and it was expensive enough I wasn't going to take a shot on it. It was the three-row keyboard that had me hesitating more than the wide shape.

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RNixon

Re: Sadly, I predict failure

The same thing when you want to use an HTC Desire Z and its keyboard in portrait mode, I'd expect.

(I have a Priv. I simply don't use the keyboard as a keyboard in landscape mode. You COULD, but it's awkward as hell. You use it as a trackpad when the phone is in landscape. But frankly, the only time I type in landscape at all is when a game forces landscape and you have to enter a username or something. Even my SSH client I run portrait, 80 columns by 62 rows.)

I'm still bummed there's no BB10 version of the Priv. I vastly prefer BB10 to Android, and I can even deal with BB10's lack of apps, but I wanted a bigger screen than than my Q10, and the Passport was just a bit TOO weird.

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Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop

RNixon

Sometimes a modern printer does need a software update.

If a printer can print, for instance, PDF files from a USB stick or a memory card, it's perfectly reasonable for it to need a software update to support new PDF features. (Adobe is still adding those, right? I ignore PDF as much as possible. It's a terrible format.)

Or it might need to update the APIs used to access third party cloud printing services. (I think those are silly, but if the printer offers them it'd be best to keep them working.)

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Chap creates Slack client for Commodore 64

RNixon

Aprotek sold a 2400 baud modem that worked just fine on the C64 without any problems.

Aprotek also sold an RS-232 interface and with that, a US Robotics modem, and a copy of Novaterm64 you could get 4800 baud on a C64. No, it didn't shut off the screen.

And if you had a 128 and a copy of Desterm, you could even get 9600 baud! But you had to have an 80 column screen and put the CPU into Fast Mode (which DOES disable the VIC II) to do it.

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Virgin Galactic and Boom unveil Concorde 2.0 tester to restart supersonic travel

RNixon

Re: Concorde: proof engineering and beauty are not exclusive.

The TU-144 entered commercial service before the Concorde did.

The plane was unreliable and the Russians knew it, and it was insanely noisy, but they had it on passenger-carrying routes. They eventually converted them into freighters, which seems like a really bizarre choice.

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Nest Cam: A compelling piece of hardware-software

RNixon

But for how long?

These service-backed smart home gizmos are great, until Nest decides it's no longer profitable to support, turns off the server, and your $300 hardware is now a useless brick.

You know, like they did with their Zwave hub.

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20 years to get Amiga Workbench 3.1 update, and only a fortnight to get first patch

RNixon

Re: Workbench update..my ass

No original Amiga, as shipped, can run AmigaOS 3.9. And these days, getting a hardware upgrade for them can be a pain in the ass. So there's at least some value in an updated 3.1.

I'm not sure how MUCH value there is, but they're not asking much.

They also sell it in a bundle with a set of Kickstart ROMs, which makes for a handy way to get a legal emulation environment without buying Amiga Forever if you don't like Cloanto for whatever reason.

They probably did the work for the Amiga Classic emulation environment built into AmigaOS 4.1FE. It would be nice if they'd released it for free, but Hyperion is operating on a serious shoestring, so 'sell it cheapish' isn't a surprise.

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

RNixon

Meh.

The only reason I ever update my Mac's OS is to get security fixes.

There hasn't been a new feature I've actually wanted in years. If it wasn't abandoned, I'd still be happily running Snow Leopard.

When I went from Snow Leopard to Yosemite the only thing I really considered an improvement was 'you can turn off the transparency effects all the way'. Everything else just felt like 'change for the sake of change'.

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2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

RNixon

They just need to RTFM.

I always figured the Voynich Manuscript was the documentation for the Antikythera Mechanism.

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

RNixon

Well, not a BSOD, but...

Back in ye olde days (the '80s and early '90s) sometimes we'd tune into the program guide channel on the cable TV and get a big red flashing GURU MEDITATION error. Or sometimes a Workbench screen, occasionally with the mouse pointer moving about as someone restarted the guide.

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New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

RNixon

Actually no, you pay the license fee and you still don't get the content if you're outside the UK.

Not only can a Canadian not purchase a UK television license, if a UK resident who has a license is outside the UK, they can't access the content on the web site.

The reason for this is it would be 'technically impossible' to enforce 'only licensed users from outside the UK'.

Apparently they have never heard of 'accounts' and 'passwords'.

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Dear Windows, OS X folks: Update Flash now. Or kill it. Killing it works

RNixon

Old Flash Stuff

The problem with just killing Flash is that there's a lot of older content out there that needs it.

Some of which is fairly nifty stuff. Independent animations especially.

I keep it installed but set to click-to-run.

Now if I could only find a way to prevent HTML5 video from autoplaying. All the plugins I've tried that claim to do that don't work.

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Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

RNixon

Re: Apple peripherals....

I use the wired Apple flat keyboard and rather like it. It did take me a while to get used to it, of course, but typing on a long-stroke keyboard irks me now.

Logitech also make some similar keyboards (the term for the things is 'scissor action' because of the frame that holds the keycap).

I won't get near an Apple mouse, though. I use a Kensington ExpertMouse. Which isn't a mouse at all, it's a trackball.

The big problem with the flat Apple keyboards is that they just can't be taken apart to clean them. So if you spill a Coke on it, that's the end of that.

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Little warning: Deleting the wrong files may brick your Linux PC

RNixon

Re: if EFI and Linux is problematic

It does if you're running Linux on it.

I think the point being made was 'Linux works fine on Macs, which use UEFI, so UEFI must not have to be disabled to run Linux'.

And re all the 'UEFI sucks' comments: Isn't UEFI the only widespread firmware standard suitable for non-x86/x64 hardware? Lots of ARM things use totally custom firmware, but quite a few PowerPC/POWER vendors use UEFI.

And of course you can't install Windows on those boxes atall.

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Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

RNixon

Re: Just works

There is not one single game on GOG that has DRM.

Every single game can have its installer downloaded (without a special client), sneakernetted to an internet-less PC, installed, and played.

There are some games that need a CD key for an online component (generally older titles) or require a login on the developer's server for multiplayer, but even those play just fine offline.

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13,000 Comcast customers complain to FCC over data caps

RNixon

Comcast without a cap.

I have Comcast with no data cap atall - I have business class service.

The reason I have business class is that there weren't any wires run on my street. Residential wouldn't install; Business was willing to waive the install fees in return for a three year phone/internet contract.

I pay considerably more than residential customers for the same speed, but I get a different call center with far less hold time when I call, priority over residential customers if I need a service call, my traffic is theoretically QoS'd over residential traffic, and I can run servers.

There wasn't any BS involved, either. The business sales team didn't even try to upsell me. The only 'extra service' they even asked about was, 'Do you need a static IP?'

All the Comcast Business people I've dealt with seemed to feel the Comcast Residential people were morons. It's almost like an entirely separate company.

I also got a letter in the mail of written apology when my service was out for half an hour during the workday, which rather surprised me. (I hadn't even called to complain. It went out, I checked their site on my phone, saw an estimated restoral, and went about my day.)

So yes, I pay about a hundred bucks a month for 16/3 internet and unlimited landline phone, but given that the options were this, satellite crap, or AT&T could get me ISDN for $700 a month (or an Nx6 T1 for $2719.60 per month), it beats the alternatives! Though once my contract is up I'll drop the phone.

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Still running IE10? Not for long, says Microsoft

RNixon

Re: A serious browser question.

PaleMoon's UI is much nicer than standard Firefox, but it's still nigh unusable on an 8" touchscreen. I've got a Dell Venue 8 Pro and it's actually quite a handy little slab, but Edge is the only browser that's really usable via touch on it. Opera is better than FF or Chrome, but it's still not 'good'.

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RNixon

A serious browser question.

Are there any Windows browsers with a decent touch UI other than Edge?

Firefox and Chrome removed their touch UIs. I've got a Win10 tablet and I haven't found a browser that has both adblock AND a usable UI.

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Child abuse, drug sales, terrorism fears: Why cops halted a library's Tor relay ... for a month

RNixon

Re: impressed

There might not be much in the way of taxes involved. I have no idea how it's structured there, of course, but a lot of small town libraries in the US are largely self-financing through donations, fees for services (copy machines, movie rental charges, renting out meeting rooms to clubs, etc), bake sales, and the like.

I worked in a library for several years and while we did get some tax funds - they were part of the school budget vote - we could've survived without them. We had a mostly volunteer staff and a local lawn care place cut the grass free, and so on.

Although probably without quite so many copies of new bestsellers.

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Hats off to Nintendo’s platform supremo Super Mario Bros at 30

RNixon

Re: Other platforms

Those usually get lumped in with the other Nintendo LCD games and just called 'Game and Watch'.

The game you're thinking of is called "Fire", and actually just has two random firemen, not Mario & Luigi. (There is a version for the Game Boy in a "Game and Watch Collection" that has Marioverse themes.)

There are some Mario games in the series; Donkey Kong/Jr/2/III, Mario Bros., Mario's Bombs Away, Mario's Cement Factory, Mario the Juggler, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Circus, and Donkey Kong Hockey.

There are also a few non-Nintendo-console Mario games; edutainment for the PC, and shovelware crap for the CD-i. (Hotel Mario is best forgotten. Really.)

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Storage boosters: Six mSATA format SSDs on test

RNixon

Re: gigabob@comcast.net

Because you can't cram the 2.5" 850 Evo in a laptop that only has an mSATA slot.

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Sorry, Californians, you can't have this: Asus to build WATER COOLED notebook

RNixon

I've got some Asus stuff, and been quite pleased with it.

That said, I've had several friends who had to deal with Asus support, and all of them quickly got lost in a Kafkaesque nightmare. So their stuff is generally good but if you DO need help with it, pray.

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FCC hosts Reagan-off as it enters 21st century

RNixon

Re: Don't stop now!

Pay attention.

They cannot get free phones AND free broadband.

They can get a free phone OR free broadband.

The Lifeline program currently allows people on the program to choose from a landline OR a cell phone. The expansion means they will choose from a landline OR a cell phone OR internet access.

Is letting broke-ass people decide which form of communication their subsidy goes toward really that terrible?

(It's not even much of a subsidy. $9.95/month. Which, if telcos are willing to provide service for that, tells you something about how much they're overcharging everyone *else*.)

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

RNixon

I originally got a Blackberry Q10 because I simply couldn't find an Android with a decent keyboard.

Having used it for a year and change, I do not want to go back to Android, even if I find a nice slider. I vastly prefer BB10 to Android or iOS.

I want a phone 'from ancient history' because it's better at being a phone.

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RNixon

Re: Who stole my QWERTY

LG sells the Optimus F3Q which came out in 2014.

It's actually quite similar to the Droid 4, specs-wise, but runs a somewhat newer Android. Slightly lower res screen, slightly smaller (LxW), slightly thicker, somewhat lighter.

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Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

RNixon

I miss the Sidekick.

The article's right, but the picture caption's wrong - Microsoft didn't make the Sidekick. The Sidekick was made by Danger, who Microsoft later bought.

Frankly, the Sidekick was the best messaging phone I ever used. The IM clients were very tightly integrated into the OS, as was the Twitter client. I don't recall if it did Facebook or not. (I think there was an app for it, but since the appstore is gone, I can't fire up my old one and check.)

The SSH client was rock solid (critically important for me), the keyboard was excellent, and the web browser was one of the better mobile ones at the time. The apps were pretty weak - some games, calendars, and so on - but it was more of a mobile terminal than a smartphone.

I wish I could get a phone that handled messaging as well now. My Blackberry comes close, and could match it if someone wrote a good BB10 Hub-integrated multi-IM client.

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An e-reader you HAVEN'T heard of: Cybook Ocean 8"

RNixon

Re: Missing a trick?

Well, there was the Entourage Pocket eDGe. Two 7" screens. Admittedly, one was e-ink and one LCD, for more tablet-y things. It worked well enough; I have one.

It also seriously stunk up the marketplace and wound up being clearanced at less than cost, so apparently no one wanted one.

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Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards

RNixon
Pirate

I'm waiting for the Banana Jr. 6000 model.

Oliver Wendell Jones is my hero.

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BlackBerry chief vows: We'll focus on 'core devices' and on, er, NOT LOSING MONEY

RNixon

You... you DO realize that Blackberries haven't depended on BES for years, right?

I mean, they still support it, and it has advantages for enterprise, but they don't need it.

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RNixon

Re: What's the need they're trying to fill?

Blackberry Maps is quite good now. I've found it better at routing me around traffic than Google Maps, though it doesn't have Google's satellite image view, which can be handy.

When I first got my Q10 BB Maps was only so-so; I sideloaded Google Maps and used that till BB Maps was on par.

And regards to B: Have you found a multi-IM client with good hub integration? I need to talk to a bunch of old farts that still use AIM and ICQ, and that leaves one BB native paid client with horrid reviews, or Android apps with no Hub use.

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Old hat: Fedora 21 beta late than never... and could be best ever

RNixon

Accessibility.

"why should other applications be able to see other windows?"

Because that's how screenreaders for the blind work.

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It's the WORST game ever, just pulled from a desert DUMP ... now ET can be yours for $500

RNixon
Facepalm

Don't blame the game for bad management.

ET is not the worst game ever.

It's bad, certainly. But I've played far worse. The Akira game, for instance, makes ET look .. well, not good, but at least mediocre.

And at least it was possible to both win AND lose ET, which puts it one up on Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.

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Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so

RNixon

Chump change.

Red Bull sells over five billion cans a year. (5.387 B in 2013.)

1.4 million people get ten bucks.

So that's 0.2% of people who bought a can in the last year. And this lawsuit covers twelve years.

I think Red Bull can shake this money out of the couch cushions and not even notice.

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Apple KILLS SUPER MARIO. And Zelda. And Sonic

RNixon

Re: Retro

It's not specifically a ban on emulators - it's a ban on anything that can run code that's not included in the app.

There's a C-64 emulator on the app store, but it comes with some games preinstalled, and cannot run any games that are not purchased through the App Store - and it won't let you drop into BASIC.

The Apple Newton emulator isn't allowed, either. My understanding is that it actually works pretty well, but it falls under that 'no running arbitrary code' clause.

So presumably you could do an Apple II emulator if you locked it to only run included diskette images. Of course, you'd need to negotiate rights to the ROM with Apple...

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RNixon

Re: External controllers

If you really want to run emulators, get an nVidia Shield. Not the new Shield tablet - last year's Shield handheld.

It's basically a Tegra 4 stuffed into an Xbox controller, and it works wonderfully for emulators. All the emulators I use support it well, and while the GameCube/Wii emulator sucks (which it does on Windows, too), pretty much everything else runs well. Even Dreamcast emulation is playable, though admittedly I've only tried it with a game or two.

Sure it's a bit bulky, but so is a phone-plus-PS3-controller.

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Top 10 SSDs: Price, performance and capacity

RNixon

Re: Problem with the 840 EVO

A defrag doesn't necessarily work - that doesn't read and write everything on the disk, so if your files weren't fragmented they won't be sped up by defragmenting.

I have this issue on my 840 Evo 750G, and it's quite irritating, Defragging didn't help. What did help, was using software that went through the entire drive, read each file off, and wrote it back.

Yes, it's wear on the drive, though it's only one write per cell so it should be negligible impact on lifespan. But it sped things right back up.

I used DiskFresh, a freebie from Puran Sofrware. Did the job well enough, but took a long time to run.

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BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now

RNixon

Re: The Catch

Presumably if you already have a pre-BB10 system in place, you're not really looking to move to a cloud hosting for it.

2
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Top 10 tech essentials for the festival season

RNixon

Re: Holy Fucking Shit

They run $130 in the US for the stove itself, more if you want a grill attachment or a custom-fitted pot.

Charging a phone is the demonstrated use, but charging an LED flashlight, or a handheld GPS unit is a more 'realistic' use for the thing - especially the GPS. I used to go on some long backpacking trips, and would have loved to have this at the time, even with that weight.

0
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Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

RNixon

Re: Why no coin op version ?

There was, I've played it quite a few times. Two-player, at that.

There was also a Mickey Mouse Tetris machine, as I recall.

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Blurred lines: Android e-ink mobe claims TWO-WEEK battery life

RNixon

Re: e-ink advances

The issue is that people have accepted the poor battery life of LCD based solutions, because for other than 'reading novels' they want 'I can watch a movie on it'.

Color e-ink readers have been utterly killed by inexpensive tablets.

(They exist, but you're looking at about $500 for a jetBook 2, and the color isn't all that great.)

It's getting hard to find a black and white e-ink reader with physical buttons. The touchscreen Kindle drives me absolutely insane. I don't know what I'll do when my Cybook Opus eventually gives up the ghost.

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New 4G router pitched at biz bods sick to death of titsup networks

RNixon

This is not just a router with failover.

Cradlepoint makes a whole line of routers that do failover from wired to wireless - I use one myself, a 1400 series. (It's vastly overkill for what I really need, but I wanted the gigabit ethernet.) Their consumer routers start at about $150.

This thing appears to be completely nutso over the top. It seems to be intended for people managing Serious Networks.

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

RNixon

I'm still on Snow Leopard because I have PowerPC programs I need to run that don't have any Intel version. Some of them are related to frankly antique hardware that I don't have a replacement for.

There are virtual machines capable of running Snow Leopard technically, but all the ones I tried that can go 'Oh, you're running Snow Leopard? The license doesn't allow virtualizing that. You can't do it.'

Irritating as hell.

1
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BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

RNixon

Re: Defending its keyboard IP?

You missed the complete and total BB keyboard ripoff for the iPhone, then?

It's not even 'sort of similar' - it's a clone of the Q10's keyboard, right down to the shape of individual keys and the width of the silver bar between rows.

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

RNixon

Re: Open Sourcing

Because they often don't own the source. Winamp almost certainly contains licensed, patented code owned by other companies.

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Valve uncloaks prototype Steam Machine console specs

RNixon

Most people, especially gamers, buy power supplies that are vastly overspecced for their machine.

Part of that is because of inflationary marketing, and part of it is because a crappily made 700 watt power supply might only be able to really push 500 watts, if lucky.

With a good quality PSU, you rarely need to go over 450 watts unless you have multiple high-end video cards.

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New in Android 4.3: At last we get a grip on privacy-invading crApps

RNixon

Blackberry 10 has this.

It's one of the things I like about my Q10 - you can allow or deny individual permissions for apps.

However, it only works for native Blackberry apps, not apps running in the Android sandbox. Alas.

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