* Posts by cambsukguy

837 posts • joined 31 Jan 2013

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Twenty years ago today: Windows 98 crashed live on stage with Bill Gates. Let's watch it again...

cambsukguy
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My first laptop ran WIn98

It was an unstable beast. Time computers, poor, even for then.

To its credit, I put Win2000 on it and, lo and behold, solid as a rock, almost NT like.

I could even put it in standby, amazing.

And for the record, my son sent me a message about a year ago saying "Dad, my laptop did a BSOD", he had never seem once on his Win10 laptop, which was about 2 years old and came with Win8 originally.

My Linux Mint laptop at work has crashed once in the year I have been using it. No 'BSOD', just a common (about 8 times in that year) failure to respond, super slow mouse movement, taking 15 to 20 minutes to get a console so I could killall Firefox (or Chrome, which caused the first few slowdowns); in this case the machine just rebooted before I could recover it.

To Linux's great credit, it is very nice to almost never have to reboot but Win10 really does not crash much at all. I suspect it is more often than Linux overall, on a per-PC level I mean, but almost everything on Windows carries legacy cruft and it suffers for it. I suspect that it is also technically more complex, not always a good thing of course.

Basically, it offers so much more (to the non-technical user especially), for so little extra risk, a reboot once per month and the very rare possibility of a BSOD and a restart in 30s.

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Motorola Z2 Force: This one's for the butterfingered Android lovers

cambsukguy
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Re: I tried using mods with the LG G5

I am on my 5th Smartphone, about 8 years I guess.

I have broken one screen, colliding with someone at speed while biking, flipping over, and landing pretty hard on my back.

The screen didn't smash outright even then, but did fail when knocked later on so I assume it has been compromised.

I have never used a case (although that particular phone had a wireless charging adapter snapped on.

I am not an extreme sportsman but I make up for it by being careless, which partly comes from not paying insane amounts for a phone in the first place, although the earlier models came at a reasonably hefty price tag that I tried to be careful at least.

The phone I have now has two broken/missing corners on the back cover and a crack in that cover from drops and knocks. It is a removable back, for battery change and SIM/SD etc. and it is fairly flimsy.

The screen, however, it in really good shape, barely discernible marks and no cracks or chips at all. It is getting on for three years old too.

It is not a 'tough' model. It is not especially tough looking (like the Lumia 920 was, basically a brick). The screen glass is basically edge to edge albeit not curved etc.

I do wonder why I see so many broken screens and wonder if they are skimping on the Gorilla glass to save weight, thickness or even money.

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Huawei promises to launch a 5G smartmobe in second half of 2019

cambsukguy
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Re: 16Kp120

Perhaps they watched Ready Player One?

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Planning on forking out for the new iPad? Better take darn good care of it

cambsukguy
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Re: Just

Wow, I bought an original, new 3000mAh battery for my phone for £9 and fitted it in 30s.

And I carry the old one as an instant re-charge for tough travel days since it takes up almost no space.

I guess everyone has a different view of good value - especially as I just bought an entire, working, high spec phone (used, I should add) for the price of an iPhone battery change (the expensive one - £75).

More Apps are just not worth that much more money, especially when you add in the limitations of iOS.

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Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

cambsukguy
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Given that Windows/Office is so common in the workplace and obviously has device management sorted to the fullest extent, what is the reason schools don't use Windows devices?

Surfaces cost too much presumably? but are there not cheap Windows tablets that get support simply by being Windows?

Does WIn10S (mode) allow a cheap Chromebook type machine to be used?

Having a proper machine with stuff on it (like Office) must reduce the network overhead and keeping them up to date is all automatic.

Having seen the extent to which corporations can control every level of the device and remote access it etc. it seems like a no-brainer.

Always assuming the Apps exist I suppose.

Maybe MS don't care enough at that level, as long as they give free/cheap Office to Students later, they will have them as adult customers I suppose.

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cambsukguy
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I have a son doing CompSci at Uni and they hardly bother with the 'professional' languages as I understand them; they use Haskell, a strange affair I had trouble following.

Apparently, it helps to teach the fundamentals.

It would appear to be working, because he is on a year in industry, and doing very well at it.

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cambsukguy
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Pointers would be a good way to sort those with aptitude and those without I suppose - especially in the embedded/firmware environments.

Use Python to easily select for those with natural OO skills perhaps.

I think it is wise to steer only those with natural ability in programming towards programming.

Having suffered seriously with prospective programmers of late, I really wish more capable people would come through.

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Donald Trump jumps on anti-tech bandwagon, gets everything wrong

cambsukguy
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> really don't care for trump but in end was choice of someone I don't care for or someone I really detest.

What you should have asked yourself was "Why do I detest Hillary?". Was it because she used poor judgement running mail servers, which doesn't seem reasonable when compared against "I just grab 'em by the pussy".

Or was it because of a continuing series of lies and distortions created since the 90's, perhaps starting with the, almost believable, Whitewater scandal (only investigated 3 or 4 times, including by people that despised her politically and STILL had to find her not guilty), continuing with ridiculous stories suggesting she had people killed and culminating in (somehow, even more ridiculous) levels of untruth which beggar belief.

Or was it because she tried to enact some modicum of gun-control legislation, resulting in a useful ban on Assault rifles, the ending of which shows a marked increase in homicides.

Or was it that she tries so hard to get Universal Health Care legislation passed and so nearly accomplished it. The children's heath care act that did get passed has been responsible for saving countless lives since it passed.

So, genuinely, please state here the reasons you hate her so much and we will simply judge you on them. If you care to tell us the reasons you also came to find a moronic, misogynist, selfish, lying liar of a non-tax-paying sociopath preferable, then do enlighten us.

I imagine you will get short shrift around here and this is NOT a leftie paradise by any means (as witnessed by my down votes when saying anything 'leftie').

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Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

cambsukguy
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Re: Tea anyone? In France not likely.

I was in Toulouse for a couple of months last year and have to say that Carrefour was one of the very best 'Supermarkets' I have ever used.

From High-end produce at one end - including a sushi-bar - to lower end, 'ordinary' food and a huge household items area, it was an amazing place to see and use.

And they had a decent choice of fresh milk, probably solely for the British visitors - my Spanish 'in-laws' still use UHT despite having a fridge and a supermarket that sells fresh. I guess it is what you get used to.

Personally, can't stand UHT and I have the merest dash of milk in tea these days.

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Tesla crash investigation causes dip in 'leccycar firm's share price

cambsukguy
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Re: local fire brigade was unsure if the car’s battery would explode

Yes, there is a penalty, space, weight, etc.

But, Tesla spent years and years perfecting the tech to improve the safety and the cooling system for the battery.

The result is that they can charge the battery pack very quickly compared to others; the cooling system is used to maintain the pack at optimal charging temperature without it overheating.

Along with the safety stuff they added to prevent explosion - which also allows high current flow I think - it would seem that they made the right decision.

As people here know, a lithium cell fire/explosion with that much energy stored would be serious.

If expectations are kept to a reasonable level, which has not always been the case, Tesla's design and implementation (of an electric vehicle - not an autonomous vehicle) is one of the best examples I have seen.

If they do make the cheaper version and it comes to the UK, I might even consider 'wasting' my money on a new car.

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Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser

cambsukguy
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Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

> Microsoft provide a generic OS that can be installed on any (compatible) hardware.

The important word here is CAN - nobody makes people use Windows - choose from at least four other 'OSs' that work on PCs, one from Apple (macOS?), Linux, ChromeOS (sort of), Android (sort of).

As we keep hearing here, Windows is not mandatory anymore, if one doesn't like it, choose an alternative.

If your company makes you use it, it is no different to being forced to use a locked-down PC or a 'special' phone or an old piece of kit you hate, it is part of your job and you decide if it is enough o make you look elsewhere.

For the masses with 'No Choice', they won't give a shit either way, they know nothing about Browser wars, OSs or anything else, stuff just changes and they carry on or ask for help.

Personally, I find Edge doesn't massacre my memory and loads pages fast, both things that matter more to me than OS politics.

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Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

cambsukguy
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Re: Old skool

The irony is that the Apps on the 950 are pretty good these days. Skype is basically stable (as in doesn't crash much - they change bits of it regularly).

The Office apps are excellent and improve all the time (shared access etc.)

Maps supports tabs like the desktop version (same code) and thus allows multiple places to be searched/visible at the same time - Google Maps still does not do that, even on a PC.

Of course, the maps can be offline, multiple whole countries. Nothing else comes close. The 3D stuff is very cool and Navigation doesn't require a data service.

Edge is fast, and given the 3-yr-old HW, really fast.

Mail, OneDrive, Photos, Messaging (Skype merges SMS/Skype, which is v. useful).

And things like the Translator are still active and useful. I still prefer the way Contacts work on WinPhone, all the contact history across all the mechanisms (email, SMS, Skype etc.).

I am sure there are 1000s upon 1000s of Apps it doesn't have but I have no real need of them, apart from wanting a Santander App that is. I have an RBS app and it is useful so I would like to have the other one - perhaps moving to RBS for that account is the answer.

I know I am in a minority but I have used Android and iOS a lot with work and I just don't find them as fluid or attractive, UI wise. More Apps is just not a good enough reason for me to switch.

Still, they haven't switched off Win10 notification so I guess I don't have to switch.

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Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

cambsukguy
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Re: Great OS

It happened again, even after updates brought me completely up to date.

Ctrl-alt-f1 et al do nothing, at least after ten minutes of waiting.

Ping gives intermittent responses and ssh responded after five minutes but failed to proceed after the prompt.

I have installed an Ethernet cable now so I may be able to get in via that next time. I don't think it...

Ah, a console appears. Only a few minutes to execute the kill and the system is back.

Obviously quicker to reboot but the time invested in five display setups makes it worth the wait.

Sucks that it happens at all though. Will still leave the Ethernet as a possible way out next time.

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cambsukguy
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Re: Great OS

Bringing up a terminal might have been useful, if any key combo had worked at all.

Since no response could be gotten from any key, anywhere, I fail to see how this could be accomplished.

Next time it happens I will try all the key combos mentioned here to see if any do work though, always willing to be educated.

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cambsukguy
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Re: Great OS

I have mint at work. Like Linux generally, it runs fine.

I used chrome at first as a browser because it heading to be set that way by the person that left me the system.

But, after the machine essentially ceased to work and it took me fifteen minutes to persuade the mouse to be above the X so I could nuke it, it so wouldn't die.

It would have appeared to be a memory issue so I switched to Firefox.

I had the problem again a couple of weeks later but, of course had installed openssh and gotten the IP address so I could kill Firefox from my phone.

Even though I tested it worked, it failed when I needed it. I could ping the machine but not log in.

Eventually Linux crashed although sometimes it does trash Firefox on it's own saying a tab crashed.

Even though rebooting takes minimal time, it is the cost of setting up all those windows etc that irks me.

I am particularly bothered that Linux itself stops working when Firefox decides to melt down. I should be able to pop up a terminal and kill the process, like I do in windows.

There is no three fingered salute that brings up a menu for a task manager or console terminal.

Being unable to ssh in is particularly annoying, possibly because it is using Wi-Fi rather than Ethernet, we have no cable network. I couldn't source a cable to check at the time.

I can honestly say I can't recall the last time my mouse stopped moving on Windows 10 and was unable to recover without a reboot.

So, no, not overly impressed with it did and not have the issue with Ubuntu over the years.

Added to the fact that there is a nasty ripple in the graphics when I have the temerity to scroll the mouse wheel in either browser, on a new laptop with 8GB of RAM, it seems like it is not a finished system.

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Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

cambsukguy
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Re: anti-collision

> His deceleration from 173 km/h (108 mph) to 0 in a distance of 66 cm (26 in) is one of the highest G-loads survived in a crash.

A Tesla is not a race car but they didn't have airbags then either. Even 65mph to 0 in a similar distance seems reasonable - mind you, I think that guy was injured (his organs moved a lot).

I crashed into a braked truck at about 20mph and saw similar amount of front-end shortening so I concur with the general view that he was going slower at impact.

As I have said here before, forget the auto driving, have auto braking if you want to reduce casualties at least.

.

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Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

cambsukguy
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Been there, done that

We had a device where there was 16K of ROM code space and the Keil 8051 C code compiled to about 400 bytes too much.

What shall we remove?

I compiled the code to intermediate assembler and started looking. I found several issues of wasted space such as a move from one register to another immediately followed by the same instruction. The odd padding NOP that wasn't needed. There were JMP to RETs that could have been just a RET and so on.

I ended up writing a parser, in C of course, with about 10 passes of the assembler, doing one compression at a time, nothing fancy. Obviously, there had to be computations changed for anything after a JMP/RET replacement until said RET was reached etc. ISTR having to keep a table for each module for fixups at the end, labels I am sure.

We saved enough code to have a couple of hundred bytes spare for actual bugs found during testing, although that code was never replaced, the first and only version lasted for the life of the product - which wasn't that long really,

Anyone that bought the Philips Pager that Alan Shearer advertised all that time ago will have used that code.

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PowerShell comes to MacOS and Linux. Oh and Windows too

cambsukguy
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Re: PowerShell?

Wow, impressive capabilities, I wish I knew how to use it while being very glad that I don't.

Having done some extensive <command> | <awk|sed|grep> ..., I wished all the time for something that *knew* what was coming.

Not surprisingly, xargs is my favourite bash mechanism.

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Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

cambsukguy
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Re: It was really useful to me,briefly

My WinPhone still talks to my car, just as well, or better, than it did when I bought it so I don't see the issue.

Until it no longer operates that is. Still hoping for a Surface Phone/PC some day before that, Fingers crossed.

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Two-day Bitbucket borkage has devs tearing their hair out

cambsukguy
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Who is the Vendor?

"We are in the process of fixing the overall issue with our vendor, but cannot currently give an accurate eta for when this will be completed."

AWS, Googe, Azure, some other lot?

I assumed they owned and operated their own servers/storage.

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Apple, quit milking tech-addicted fruit of our loins – shareholders

cambsukguy
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Re: Unusually Microsoft appear to be ahead on this....

I didn't even know this was an issue - I assumed all platforms had some overriding system that was not based on each individual device being setup specifically.

For instance, even WinPho had alternative browsers so users could bypass anything that was limiting them in the IE browser.

I used what is now MS Family Safety from the getgo on WinPhone and it works well on Win10 - it was complex before that though.

Because it works outside the device, it covers all devices used - my sole minor son uses four devices. The reports and web page cover device use separately, adding up the various bits from each device.

TBH, the default setting for everything was sufficient for us, anything falling foul of the system can be overridden at the time, anything done that seems dubious can be blocked in future when seen. Most of it I see is dodgy sites called up by ads from places like Manga/Anime websites.

In order to work of course, I presume it needs total control of the device, probably not possible on Android or iOS (for MS that is). When a minor is the user of a WinPhone, because an MS account is required to use one - it enrolls that device into the system at the basic level. This means app installation can be monitored and limited etc and purchases controlled to prevent overspending etc. Crucially, this is not controlled at the device though.

How can this still be a problem?, even for careless/naive parents, the default setup should add some level of protection.

Requiring parents to do any heavy (or even light) lifting is virtually guaranteed to leave vast amounts of kids free to run riot.

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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

cambsukguy
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Windows 10 did bork the BIOS

On my son's machine some time early on in its life.

But there was an auto-recovery system whereby, using a magic system of key presses at startup, the system auto-copied a backup copy of the BIOS back into the booting BIOS.

Booted fine afterward.

HP Envy touchsmart 15 something from about 3 years ago, BIOS name might be Insyde, that wht system info says but don't wanna reboot to check.

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Windows 10 Hello face recognition can be fooled with photos

cambsukguy
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Can it be done with a regular photo?

Like the kind people leave lying around on social media.

Or, does it need a specific, near-IR photo taken with a special camera?

Because, if so, don't let someone take a face-on picture of you with a 'funny-looking' camera.

I do wonder if the proper Iris-recognition system of the Lumia 950 has been defeated because it works well enough, perhaps they should have the extra hardware on the Surface at least.

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HTC U11 Life: Google tries to tame the midmarket

cambsukguy
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Re: Two years?

Two years is an acceptable guaranteed minimum, but striving to exceed that is expected.

I certainly wouldn't buy a smartphone that didn't effectively warranty two years of OS/Security updates.

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cambsukguy
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Re: Here we go...

Thankfully, it is entirely possible to manage whilst rarely visiting these pages you speak of so let them plug away advertising heavily to those that accept it and I will keep using the BBC for news, offline maps and selecting non-YT videos from video results wherever possible (surprisingly often).

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How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you

cambsukguy
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But, what should we believe?

So, I am at work and someone discusses Chris Froome...

"What I don't understand is, how can he win the Tour de France and have Asthma?".

"Well, presumably, it is reasonably mild and the Salbutamol returns his lungs to full function. Perhaps that drug is capable of boosting your lungs above normal capacity, hence its presence on the 'banned' substances list".

"Yeah, but my daughter has Asthma and she couldn't do that".

(face aghast) "But surely you don't equate that anecdotal 'evidence', akin to 'My Gran smoked until she died at 90 and she didn't have Cancer, so...', with this case?".

"Well, it just seems so unlikely".

"So, if he was seeing a doctor since he was 8 and can prove he took medication all his life?".

"Says who?".

"The BBC in this case."

"Well, I don't trust the BBC".

"Who do you trust?".

"No-one".

"So, if you didn't see it with your own eyes or hear it from your closest relative or believe something in the first place, you don't believe something someone else says?".

"Basically, yes".

There is no point discussing anything much further with anyone that takes that view (which the person concerned retracted after more discussion because it is effectively untenable).

This was a grown man and is not isolated - a different colleague suggested that part of the drive to work was great "Because there are no speed limits". Multiple people assured him that there were and that perhaps he meant no enforcement. "No, you can drive as fast as you want". And, so the argument proceeded until we gave up because his view was, No enforcement, no limit.

I think the general trend to not believe anything and to allow 'equal' views from all sides is akin to the "We don't believe in Science in our family" trend that somehow allows people who are either stupid or insane to carry on in their belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

There are facts, incontrovertible facts, plain truths and opinions.

So, when the BBC give equal time to a Climate Change denier, effectively suggesting his (a politician's) view has the same weight as the (massive) majority of scientists that have studied the science then they are doing us a disservice, even if they say it is an opinion.

This is why the US has states that give equal time to Intelligent Design in schools against Evolution.

We are truly further than ever from the Enlightenment, started only a few centuries earlier and which really, really ought to have happened by now.

Bigly Sad!

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Virgin Hyperloop pulls up the biggest chair for Branson, bags $50m, new speed record

cambsukguy
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The setting you require is 'Moderate', at least at work.

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Peak smartphone? iPhone X flunks 'supercycle' hopes

cambsukguy
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Re: Old skool

Yeah, but you're stuck with a 20MP Camera with OIS and HDR, not to mention only having 232GB of storage available and a 2.5k screen with a laughable 563ppi.

The fact that it cost you maybe £300 and you get all that free Office and offline maps while not worrying about malware must really hurt.

And you have to suffer regular updates on top of it all.

Sucker!

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Container-flinger pushes Win 10 transformer for legacy apps

cambsukguy
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Re: It would have been nice...

Hardly an expert...but I do run Win10 and it runs old apps just fine. I have putty from 199x and god-knows-what else.

Is this article discussing running them in Win10 'UWP' containers for sandboxing etc.?

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Netflix silent about ridicule as it discusses punters' viewing habits

cambsukguy
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You're in for a treat, the two are not remotely comparable.

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cambsukguy
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According to a film I just saw, The Room is the one to (not) watch.

And I was thinking Plan 9 from outer space was easily the worst.

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cambsukguy
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Re: 3 year warranty if you registered online

Are we to presume that the first name and last name are not your actual names?

Otherwise, I doubt any made-up email on that domain will be anonymous.

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Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

cambsukguy
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Re: Nokia 925 is still my favourite phone

Much of that sounds like hardware issues, possibly just one, since mine (and my better half's) 950s do not suffer these issues.

Obviously, Groove switching off is a service issue.

By FB and Li APIs, I assume you mean the clever people stuff they had with WP7/8. That was removed ages ago I thought.

The people 'hub' stills collates Phone, SMS, Skype and email communications and is streets ahead of anything else - because they are just phone books.

And Skype looking after SMSs as well keeps the messaging stuff (that I use at least) together. It would have been great if they all could have been collated, FB, Skype, WhatsApp etc.

But they weren't so I dropped FB and almost never use WhatsApp.

One pointer though, if you are bothered:

When I first got my 950, 3 years ago, I noticed it restarted if I put it down too hard or knocked it.

I discovered that slightly tensioning the contact springs on the battery fixed it.

I recalled the memory because I just put a brand new Original replacement battery in it last week and the same issue happened.

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Google prepares 47 Android bug fixes, ten of them rated Critical

cambsukguy
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Re: What about my 5 year old Android?

My Lumia 950 has been updated maybe 20 times in the last 3 years and it runs just a fast as it did when I bought it.

Why does adding features have to slow down a device significantly?

Any new feature may take performance away but only when it is used.

The core kernel should get more efficient if anything as improvements are sought out and deployed.

Since the battery life improved on my phone somewhat over several iterations, I assume that was the case.

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cambsukguy
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Re: Google vs Wikipedia

If I needed a new tablet to replace my perfectly good but hardly used Surface RT, I would buy a reasonably price W10 tablet.

I would imagine that it would get updated regularly, my 4 yr-old RT tablet still gets updates and it has been obsolete for some time.

But then, I still get WP10 OS updates fairly often too, just "No new System features", just security and bug fixes I guess.

Thankfully, the apps get updates very regularly.

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iPhone X: Bargain! You've just bagged yourself a cheap AR device

cambsukguy
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Re: Haven't we just been around this?

Wow, live translation of text via the camera from Google.

Jesus, my first Windows Phone had that, 4 years ago, and all of them since.

Why is it that people only think that something is clever and cool when Google or Apple do it, despite it being available from a non-sexy Vendor yonks before.

Next thing you know, Google maps showing the Highway camera live feeds on Android will be touted as awesome, despite being on my Maps app for ages already.

My Nokia N9 had AR location placesdistance placed over the camera feed even longer ago than that - including stuff that you couldn't actually see. It doesn't tend to survive because it just isn't that useful in real life (partly because compass/gyro stuff is not perfect I suspect).

And, I presume when Firefox/Chrome adds the facility for web pages to be displayed in English without tiresome clicking and mucking about and copying bits into a translator, or has a right click that allows just a marked bit of text to be translated, it will be considered cool too. Meanwhile, I will just use Edge and half-forget that some of the pages I read are in a foreign language (until it becomes obvious from the translation that is).

Reminds of the time that someone said their camera had OIS, two years after my first camera that had it. Or the first time that boasted about having a whole 12MP when the one I was holding had 40.

And someone really was amazed when they put their phone on my wireless charging pad and saw it charge, THIS WEEK at my office, really, THIS WEEK. (Yes, it was a web developer.)

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It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

cambsukguy
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Re: When I was a kid.....

> How did we reach this stage?

'We' didn't, it is still a choice for almost everything.

I am obviously a tech person but:

1. My phone was paid for completely at the time of purchase - because it didn't cost the best part of £1000. It is a smart-phone, it (still) has higher 'specs' than most smart-phones. A new replaceable battery, purchased just this week for £9 (yes, original, from a UK supplier), means it still runs for better than a day if I haven't (wirelessly) charged it. I have a SIM-only contract of course and the £9-month is for a whole year but, really, there is no lock-in here at all at those prices - if they try to gouge me, I (and the two other customers I pay for) will go elsewhere.

2. I bought what few Apps I paid for and those and the free ones get upgraded for gratis where they are still supported at least.

3. I bought my car, it was five years old then and two years older now, but worked, and still works, reliably. I expect it to remain working without significant effort for at least five more years. It is a full-size car with a fairly high spec but I reckon on a cost of purchase in the order of £50/month overall, maximum.

4. I am lucky enough to have bought a house (slowly of course). I am old and had the advantage that they were merely outrageously priced with obscene interest rates rather than obscenely priced with outrageous interest rates (given the base rate that is).

5. I have always, always bought white goods whole, BrightHouse and their ilk are exploiters of a high order.

6. I 'do' rent Netflix, there is no other choice of course. However, they will remain affordable or I will exit the system. There is no lock-in; I can terminate with one months notice.

7. I even self-insured house contents for years having noticed that only a total loss by fire would cost anything more than a £1000 or so. The simple maths of paying £100/yr for a maxm loss of maybe £1000 seemed ridiculous to me. I have contents cover now solely because it is bundled with building cover for about £30, far more reasonable.

I have succumbed to renting Office. I didn't like having (really) old versions and running converters or using the free web-based stuff but the main reason for paying was what you aactually get for your £80 (in my case). One gets five users, allowing me, my two offspring and my girlfriend all to have a copy, and all use/need it. Additionally, we all get 1TB of OneDrive storage, which basically means unlimited cloud storage (that phone camera can use obscene amounts of data for video). Furthermore, each user gets an hour of free calls to foreign phones (importantly, including mobiles) worldwide every month - this is important in one of my users case particularly.

O only once succumbed to HP, as a student, desperate for a Hi-Fi system utterly beyond my pocket at the time. I overpaid for three years but got to have quality music/turntable/tape deck etc. for that period. Having had no-one to help me to buy things, I still regard it as money well wasted.

The real problem here is extending too much credit at high interest rates to people that cannot afford it and don't need the new shiny but just want it - thanks to advertising that makes them feel inferior if they don't have it.

I avoid ads like the plague - the cinema is where I see almost all the ads I see (I really don't 'see' ads on web sites much, I use the BBC for news for instance.

Cinema ads seems very heavily biased towards aspirational things like cars and perfume. Neither work on me of course but they must work in general surely?

It is a strange paradox that people who lack money/power want to show what they do have much more than people with money/power.

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Google's answer to the Pixel 2 XL CRT-style screen burn in: Lower the brightness

cambsukguy
Silver badge

I worried about the Nav bar...

...On my phone when I got it years ago.

Not because of burn-in, I never knew it happened on phones.

I worried in case the bar didn't work or disappeared and wouldn't return.

Now, I love it; I can disappear it if I want more screen real estate (or set some apps to do it) and it never fails to appear or operate.

The Nav bar can be made to match the UI theme, although I prefer it natural.

I have also set it to allow double tap off the buttons, which switches the display off, no button press required.

No burn-in visible, I looked, hard.

It is an OLED and it is hi-res, even by today's standards I think (563ppi).

It is less bright though than these fancy new ones though, although anything other than bright sunlight is fine and it kicks up the saturation/brightness violently when it is sunny, which changes the colours but leaves it more readable at least.

Having no UI buttons really need not be an issue and should be a benefit - it just requires them to work properly.

4
3

Microsoft exec says ARM-powered Windows laptops have multi-day battery life

cambsukguy
Silver badge

Re: Please explain

No,

The systems they are discussing is a port of W10 to run on ARM - not Windows Mobile, which is a cut-down version with replacement parts for mobile, albeit built from the same source and able to execute well-written UWP apps via a re-compile only.

The source code for this system is the same as fill W10 wherever this is feasible (I presume).

Vast amounts of an OS are written in (say) C, or C++ etc. - all of that will compile to ARM and run as intended (when they correct for bad programming). For instance, they may specify that the ARM must run in little-endian mode (I would).

So, the main work being done would be something like:

1. Re-write as much Intel assembler based kernel code in portable C.

2. Where 1 is not possible, reduce the amount to a minimum and write ARM-specific versions of the sections in question, say memory block copies. These would then be as efficient and fast as the originals.

3. In order to actually execute Intel .exes without a re-compile, use said emulation of instructions. I believe Qualcomm are making this easier by baking lots of this into hardware. However, this would only be needed for legacy apps where the money has been spent and the vendor is unwilling to (or unable) to replace the original with a (free or cheap) ARM build for W10 specifically.

In addition, the Cshell project is running to use the same 'Start' system across all W10 platforms (XBox, Hololens, Mobile, Tablet and PC) to avoid having to work on them all separately.

I am ancient but use very few old programs, I am willing to forego Putty if required to gain the advantages of huge battery life and/or size/weight trade offs.

But what I really, really want, is a piece of hardware running on a very small tablet-like device with a touch screen about 15cm across with voice call capability and the very cool ability to run anything a PC will run, especially if a BT mouse/keyboard were connected.

Just gotta eke out this phone for another year.

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1

Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

cambsukguy
Silver badge

Re: Blaming North Korea?

> Unfortunately I think it is other tools (payroll, accounting, tax & HR software, SEO and marketing tools, photo & video processing, etc) plus cheap and easy support (local PC company) which drive them to use Windows

So, you mean common sense then.

People are not in business to avoid MS, they are in business for whatever their business is.

I work at a business with a fair few Linux boxes and Windows boxes, the people that really need it have O365 with full Office, the rest of us use the web apps with Outlook on the Windows machines.

Almost everything was done with money-saving in mind, no network, no servers, no phones, just WiFi, Google Drive and Skype.

Yet they still buy O365.

That says it all really.

2
5

HP Inc exec: Yes, we'll put a bullet in the X3 device

cambsukguy
Silver badge

Re: UK Sales of Goods Act

Like my 950, your XL will work just fine until it doesn't.

Most of the important apps on there are UWP apps which get updated 'for free' along with their Windows 10 counterparts.

Eventually, there will be no apps at all that are not UWP ones and the old ones will be too tired and stop working, or more likely, the servers required will change their API.

Then WP10 will be dead, which is a crying shame and a sin on MSs part, shame on them.

It is also a mistake, they will always look bad for not having a mobile offering.

Unless, of course, they simply sell a Windows 10 device that is indistinguishable from a phone, and runs PC apps.

People would probably buy it because it would be supported as a PC would be, for a very, very long time.

Meanwhile, my WinPhone had 8 apps updated in the last week, and I don't have many apps (obviously).

5
0

Scared of that new-fangled 'cloud'? Office 2019 to the rescue!

cambsukguy
Silver badge

What could they be?

Surely all known formula(e/s) are catered for?

Is it like Quantum Coin thingys or is it simply bigger formulas; The formula for computing antenna transmission bubble shapes springs to mind from a century ago when I was at college.?

2
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My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

cambsukguy
Silver badge

The phone he bought is effectively that.

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1
cambsukguy
Silver badge

The point is of course that the Android he has runs MS software.

It has Cortana, Bing search (as a default for the browser and required by Cortana I presume).

The browser is Edge, the maps and navigation are Bing/Here and all offline if desired.

Obviously Office and also Onedrive. I think the app store is MSs too but the Play store must be available or there would be no point I presume.

One can do a lot of that on stock Android of course if one desired it but the deep integration of Cortana etc. requires that MS take the source and produce their own version.

Presumably they also send telemetry and sling their own ads rather than Google's.

Dunno 'cause I still run a 950, presumably Bill wanted certain apps because I can't think of anything he gains otherwise. Either that or he broke his 950 and couldn't get a new one.

0
5

Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole

cambsukguy
Silver badge

It's not that Amazing

> It's amazing how much trouble one man's cock can cause

Hitler's Dad caused serious problems with his cock.

And I can think of quite a few others.

3
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HP denies rumours Elite x3 is for the axe, admits coveting neighbour's OS

cambsukguy
Silver badge

Because there is almost no cost to having the mobile platform, it has the same code base and the OS is designed to run, essentially unchanged, on the hardware.

Because W10 runs on tablets, touch etc. and the Start screen are the same. Small tablets are barely different to a phone, tablets and PCs have the cellular stacks I imagine.

I also imagine the phone could have had multiple logins and such but that this is explicitly suppressed/removed.

It may also be the case that they will completely remove the Mobile-only parts and simply run full W10 on a phone platform when the ARM build of W10 is working.

That would mean having a 'phone-mode' of course, phones may run the same apps but phones work differently in other ways, albeit fewer and fewer of them. Hiding the mouse from the phone screen, which happens anyway I think if you use a PC with touch and actually use touch.

Ironically, Continuum is almost the only thing that would need to be removed, the second screen is just a second screen to a PC, different resolution perhaps but no different at otherwise.

Continuum has been ignored by MS but, even the little it does do can be useful, e.g. for showing PPs to people without using a laptop etc.

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cambsukguy
Silver badge

Well, now you do.

0
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UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

cambsukguy
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

Proper Capitalism is supposed to fix price gouging.

Apple et al put up their prices... Others step in and undercut them because they can make a similar product much cheaper.

Except it happens less than you might expect because, in a rich country like the UK, it is like people paying twice as much for a loaf of bread that really isn't much better than the cheaper one. They pay the premium because it is not actually a break-the-bank kind of extra cost.

So, the people that buy the new phone are usually people with a lot of money to spare - I see huge numbers of people with old iPhones, broken screens, cables hanging out of their pockets because they require power blocks to keep them running.

Of course, there is probably a general trend downward as harder times bite but this is still a rich country and Apple/Samsung will still have a market at the high end.

Me, older phone not Apple or Samsung and I prefer it that way of course, because I could pay the premium if I wanted, I just don't want.

Older phones have so many useful selling points, the main one being less worry about dropping/losing/stealing. No case required. No fear that some twat will rip it off. No worry that it is going out of date soon. Really, much less stressful.

And, since no compelling additions have been made to phones to make one wish one had the newest shiny, even fewer issues. Screens still remain similar or lower res than mine (564ppi), cameras are similar or worse (20MP Zeiss), unlock with a face/iris, yeah, super useful. Tons of RAM, tons of Flash.

The only real USPs that would make me want to move are:

1. Essentially unbreakable, although I have dropped mine several times, caseless, and the glass remains unblemished.

2. Power breakthrough, a new tech that makes a phone last, say, a week. My battery is removable already so new battery tech could conceivably be used anyway.

3. Running PC apps, real ones. Not critical but I would just have one because it would remove the need to have a Surface or a laptop in many (more) cases.

As long as it remains supported and updated, which mine still is, at least monthly, I will stick with it.

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cambsukguy
Silver badge

Re: The Pound

What do you mean expect?

The last number I saw was 2.9%, seriously higher than for many years.

Back in the silly days of 8% inflation I saw my mortgage costs plummet and my wages go up and up.

Seems like that doesn't happen much any more.

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