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* Posts by Mage

7272 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

Mage
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Re: What difference does it make if the protective material

Thinner, or if same thickness, more battery. Having two cases, like a pair of Russian dolls is mad.

Better protection too.

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Mage
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Re: aren't slippery if you put them in a case

That's a design fail.

Similar fail is tablets and eReaders that need a fat cover. The Sony PRS350 may have had a cover option that was simply a flap on the front. Larger screens, Tablets & eInk do need a safety cover, but it should be a clip on hinge, not a box.

A phone CAN be made such that it doesn't need a cover.

Was the LG Chocolate (10 years ago?) first touch phone in long shape and maybe Nokia Communicator "brick" first long screen smart phone. 2000 etc. I had the mono and then the later colour one. A modern version would be nice, I suppose the Gemini is nearly the replacement.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

Mage
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Re: Choice on Apple?

"monopolist in terms of user lock in methods"

It's not illegal, though nasty. Google though has a market share monopoly.

The way iTunes works for sellers may be illegal. That's under investigation.

I do have an iPhone 4S, it's now effectively a dedicated phone & MP3 player.

Anything that ONLY can use Internet to copy stuff ought to be illegal, but it is legal. I do not rely on ANY vendors "Cloud". I copy via USB or ethernet, do my own backups. Three versions.

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Mage
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Re: Choice on Apple?

Though Apple are being examined over iTunes Apple store app policy. If you use it you can't distribute your app elsewhere, not even free.

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Mage
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FireOS?

Please NO, nothing from Amazon. Certainly not FireOS. Amazon is a serial killer of competition. See acquisitions since 1998. Amazon should be forced to support DRM free ePub and Adobe DRM ePub on Kindles and Kindle Apps and FireOS. Amazon's aim is to make MS, Google and Apple look like Amateurs. They need broken up and existing laws enforced, not encouraged!

World's richest man (or close to it) wonders what to do with his money? Pay people properly!

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Mage
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Re: Choice on Apple?

Apple may have massive percent of profits and be perhaps largest single vendor, but aren't they x2 to x5 more expensive and less than 14% of users? So no monopolist.

Symbian is near zero, also other OS very low and Windows Phone less than 1%?

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Mage
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GDPR & Privacy

This is only tip of the iceberg on Google's exploitation of Android users, Chrome, Gmail, Youtube, Gplus, Google Docs, Google Translate, Google Playstore usage, Google Books, Google Art, Hangouts, Groups etc . Also web sites using Google Web server APIs, Fonts and Analytics etc.

Much much more to come.

Even reluctant Irish Data Commish considering slapping Facebook.

It's about time that [primarily USA] corporations discover using the Internet does not mean law doesn't apply: Uber, AirBnB, Amazon, MS, Apple, Oracle, IBM, Adobe, Twitter etc.

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Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

Mage
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Devil

Amazon Prime

Evil.

Cheats consumers (because most subscriptions do) and cheats content creators. Makes Amazon massive profits. Hence desire to have "cool" exclusives.

The article has a lot of sense (pity about Pebble). Sad it promotes an Amazon Prime Exclusive.

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Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1

Mage
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Skype still a thing?

MS crippled it.

Changed it so net books with cameras sat at 100% cpu.

Added Adverts

Reduced functionality, esp. Text, which is 99% of my use. I rarely use voice or video.

Killed it on some platforms and crippled it on others.

!

It's a Zombie.

!

Tried QQ, but only Chinese on Linux.

Almost everyone I know is now using Viber.

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Intel buys eASIC because FPGAs aren't always the answer

Mage
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FPGA vs ASIC

Ferranti or someone had Library block almost ASICs in 1980s. Not a new idea. Uncommitted Logic Arrays. Even ones with Analogue.

An FPGA is primarily for prototyping an ASIC. An ASIC may give 1/10 to 1/1000th the power consumption and 1/100th per part cost. The falling price & power consumption and ability to have a physical CPU core meant that the FPGA moved out of prototyping and very low volume niche to medium volume and less power critical/prices critical applications.

The pure ASIC is a high capital cost and high risk only for volume.

An intermediate solution has always been popular since 1980s based on standard tested library blocks. Especially when Analogue, esp RF and fast ADC etc is needed as FPGAs are basically for Digital designs.

So this is no surprise as Intel try to break free of x86 dependency.

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Mage
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Eir, Vodafone & Sky

Basically ALL the DSL sellers claim their broadband is "fibre broadband".

My fibre broadband is VDSL and only marginally faster than the ADSL2+ it replaced. It's 900m of copper from exchange. I pointed out that some exchanges had fibre even when they only offered ISDN back in early 2000s.

One Wireless operator claiming it's Fibre.

Three claims to sell High speed broadband. They have NO broadband. That is their WiFi hotspot fed by Mobile. Mobile can sometimes offer ADSL2+ speeds, but rarely and is never broadband.

The ASAI and the Regulator don't care.

One area where EU direct Regulators and enforcement might be better.

The Irish Financial Regulator allowed Anglo Irish.

Irish Data Commissioner has to be taken to court to investigate Facebook etc.

Ofcom supported Mobile companies and lobbied AGAINST abolishing voice and data roaming in EU.

See "Regulatory Capture", also the Regulators are supposed to be be independent. They are not. Comms is still controlled by treasury / finance Dept interests.

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It's 2018 so, of course, climate.news is sold to climate change deniers

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Fake news

The UK Guardian running fake news on "Mobile phones cause cancer". A cherry picked study of rat tissues rather than large surveys of humans with real phones.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/14/mobile-phones-cancer-inconvenient-truths

A distortion of research on the subject.

Though the BBC has been dreadful for science reporting for years.

WiFi sensitivity!

Facebook only demoting rather than removing PROVEN fake news.

It's curious that some Victorians wanting to attack the Church of England invented the Mediaeval Flat Earth myth. Historically most people didn't think about such things, but those that did usually figured out the Earth's diameter not too badly.

Though the Victorians didn't invent Fake News. The Ancient Greeks worried about it and knew it was a problem. The Fake news is so often more attractive, compelling, fun etc than the real stuff. Sometimes seems more likely that the real news!

Is the UK really stockpiling processed foods, medicine and for NI, electricity generators? I've given up trying to decide on some of it.

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Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

Mage
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Re: I don't know if anything has changed

"Not yet seen a manual written before ship that matched the product"

Many written afterwords have a tenuous connection.

I hate the car manuals that seem to cover every variant except the one you are sitting in. Mysterious integrated radio with controls on steering wheel, bluetooth hands free, voice control, but no microphone. Cable not even fitted to rear of radio. Yet manual DOES have that model as one of three possible ones.

Cars used to be fixable. Now full of poorly documented distributed computer systems and pretend mechanical dials driven by computer. Door switches hidden inside the door locks. Why won't the open door indicator and air bag indicator go out?

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Mage
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Re: Multitool

Unavailable on UK Amazon (Sterling, where Irish Euro using people are sent).

EUR 64.57 + EUR 12.98 shipping in Germany on German Amazon. As with UK Amazon you can only see shipping cost to Ireland after starting checkout.

Shipping from USA is horrific, then Irish customs calculates the 23% VAT on top of price & shipping (and any duty if applicable), then €8 handling.

At least the UK & DE prices include the VAT. Shipping can be same from Germany, though it's much further.

I had a SAK once and found it tended to break my nails.

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Mage
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Re: Back in my day

You only have to forget ONCE when flying and you lose the lovely tool/penknife/etc forever. It had fallen through hole into a lesser used internal pocket in my carry on bag.

No they will not put it aside till you come back...

Legalised theft and security theatre.

Will they do anything to stop or catch someone stealing your laptop or tablet? No. Only interested in "threat". Why no ticket to redeem tray after scanner?

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PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10

Mage
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Flame

More like despite Windows 10?

Just think what shipments might be if Win 10 was what customers wanted, a better, secure, compatible and private version of NT, with best of NT3.5, XP & Win7?

There is no proof whatsoever that it's because of Windows 10.

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You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Now Micrsoft needs only to decide what UI to display for touch/pen use...

I've even abandoned excellent XP and Win7 for Linux Mate, mint desktop and modified "Traditional OK" theme. Cold Turkey for 18 months now.

I do have some Win 10 stuff to show people using Win7 how bad it is.

I've not need to boot up the XP or Win7 for any actual work.

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Mage
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FAIL

US$399 “Surface Go” has a ten-inch screen

But costs $180 extra to have fully functional netbook replacement. Plus who knows how many hours to debug Linux on it. Because I have win10 on an x86 10" tablet with a keyboard dock. It's nearly unusable. Actually I have two. Debian will install, but the screen rotation needs a script to rotate the touch screen, touch pad and mouse.

The $99 of keyboard is mad. I got an excellent physical USB keyboard cover for an Android Tablet (works W10 too) for under €10 inc postage. Decent keys.

$99 is mad for pen.

$399 for a bare 10" tablet may be cheap compared to Apple, but it would need to be very high spec. You can get decent tablets for 1/2 that.

This isn't a netbook, or a re-invention of one. It's an attempt to sell MS HW to MS Office Addicts at a price averaging the sum of normal and Apple.

I got a very nice "nearly Ultra book Lenovo" for about that money.

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Mage
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Re: Lock

Only diaries with glitter, ponies or fairies on the cover, usually pink, have locks.

Easily operated by the spam tin key for convenience of mother or brother.

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Mage
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Security features

A £2 address book is a GOOD idea. Website/service, email, user, password etc.

NEVER take it out of premises.

Never EVER put in laptop bag.

Do put in safe or with Will etc, in case you are knocked down crossing road, stroke, heart attack or assassinated.

It's actually good security practice to have a secured hard copy of all security information. Maybe even a second off site secure location.

Not though in your jacket, open plan office or laptop bag.

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GitHub given Windows 9x's awesome and so very modern look

Mage
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Re: I actually appreciate the cleanliness of that

Can we have it on Win10 and PROPERLY done on as a Mate Theme on Linux Mint (some are nearly right)?

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No, it's not Intel's 5G chip Apple is ditching – it's the Sunny Peak Bluetooth, Wi-Fi part

Mage
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Re: MediaTek?

Buy in an RF company?

Apple bought in the ARM expertise. They started buying Samsung parts.

So Apple have in a sense done ARM SoC design. The actual ARM core is an ARM design.

RF is quite different, as Intel discovered. It's taken them a while.

Qualcomm are a bit of patent troll. They want a royalty because you use it, again on chip and finally based on your price for the system. They also have bought in a lot of IP/Asset stripped small companies.

Most of Nortel's stuff at this stage is no use to design new chips, but patents so as to be in standards cartels and have FRAND, as per 3G, 4G, WiFi etc. Most of the "5G" patents are "fake" as we have been at the Shannon limit for maybe 15 years.

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Mage
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5G

A lot of hype and hot air. Very little of it is to do with actual realistically usable Mobile bands, but efforts to charge people for in premises use instead of free wifi to their own fibre / cable / xdsl.

Also about integrating infrastructure

Intel will not make much money out of 5G. Look how well they did on WiMax?

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Chrome, Firefox pull very unstylish Stylish invasive browser plugin

Mage
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Re: Problem when software changes hands

Visio, Skype, WhatsApp, Instagram, GoodReads, IMDB, YouTube, Borland... Maybe Github?

All the software Oracle got from buying Sun.

Xenix, Suse ...

It's a very long list.

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Give Samsung a hand: Chaebol pulls back Arm to strike Intel's chips

Mage
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Intel CPUs these days are hybrids

Yes, some have RISC cores.

Also "RISC" is a misnomer in many cases, as there may not be a reduced set of instructions. Most "RISC" architectures are better called Load/Store architectures with aim to do any instruction in one or two clocks.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Mage
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

Keys lost during move.

I asked secretary if filing cabinets needed locking?

"No, we lock the room."

-- So the workshop portable electric drill on the lock barrels.

I suspect some rechargeable ones would be adequate now.

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Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Android

Yes, it's like Win10 GUI and a mix of Win2.0, Win3.0 & Win95 functionality. You are lucky if an application can use external storage, printer, local network server & Copy/Paste even if the 3rd party File manager does.

I found that many USB things (even an Ethernet adapter) work on Android but only default settings (no settings interface), or inadequate control of settings (USB Keyboard layout/language).

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Mage
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Alert

Re: Top wish = backlit keyboard?

No, a keyboard with maybe one more key per row. It's USA centric, not good for UK, never mind any European language.

Better than backlight (and I did a demo 12 years ago) is four thin plastic plates under keys. Then each key lights normal, shift, alt-normal and alt-shift. Then friendly for all European languages. Dual English-<other native alphabet> would have different keycaps, with key caps user changeable (like you decide to move to Russia, Korean, India, Arab country).

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Mage
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GUI?

Flat is ghastly

Semitransparent/Perspex is ghastly.

What about decent Win 3.1 to XP style GUI design?

It's what I hate about Android and Win10 and some Linux distros. Where the hell do you click? What is labels or buttons? Which tab is active? What text is simply text and which has links or popups? Is something on or off? Ban stupid slide switches.

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Science! Luminescent nanocrystals could lead to multi-PB optical discs

Mage
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NAND is so nice

Not for removable archive storage!

Bubble memory was a nice idea.

This is complementary to NAND.

Also may be more stable that writeable DVD/CD which easily "fade". Pressed DVDs can be archival, I doubt writeable DVDs are stable.

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Mage
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Boffin

Why DVD size?

The 3.5" floppy has a shuttered case and designed to go in a pocket. Far more sensible than DVD style packaging. Not a new idea either. The 3.5" MO disks in 1990s were a little thicker than floppies, but far better than Zip disks. They were brilliant. Just too expensive and got left behind on the storage capacity.

Though there was originally a cartridge with shutter for CDs. I still have some of the re-usable cases and a drive somewhere.

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Hoping for Microsoft's mythical Andromeda in your Xmas stocking? Don't hold your breath

Mage
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FAIL

Windows 10?

Windows ANYTHING is a kiss of death for anything other than desktop. They've done their best to drive people from it too with the stupidity of Win8 & Win10.

They need a desktop with best of NT4, Win2K, XP (Win7 was only a fixup of Vista, maybe use some bits of it).

Windows Phone, & Arm surface shows that a non-desktop MS system should NEVER EVER be called Windows ever again. Windows CE wasn't Windows. No "pocket" device can be windows as it needs a different GUI.

Desktop windows need legacy APIs, and x86-64, full backwards compatibility to all NT applications and many 16 & 32 bit non-NT Windows apps via NTVDM, WOW, etc. Not experimental new APIs and Run anywhere programs and a Store and slurping, XBox, VR etc all integrated.

MS are a mess since 2004.

Different platforms need tweaked OS, different GUI and different applications apart from perhaps simple widget like email and pure text note taking, or music / video playback.

A Browser made to have same GUI on mobile & desktop is crippled on Desktop. By all means use some commonality below GUI.

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Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Mage
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Re: Next you'll be calling blood donors drug dealers.

Vampires?

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/blood-transfusions-from-teenagers-start-up-charging-8000-apiece.html

Some Silicon Valley Execs pay for blood.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Mage
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Re: Cash, always

I moved from UK to Ireland. It had "secretly" been using Sterling since 1922 really till 30 March 1979 having invented the Punt in 1978 (The Irish notes printed in UK till then). The Punt ended with the Euro in 1999.

So free payments to German & Spanish eBay sellers via IBAN and no problem even in Slovak Republic.

Just think how much more fun Brexit would be to watch if the UK had joined the Euro.

I don't believe the periodic UK stories that Greece / Italy / Ireland etc will give up Euro or leave EU. Euro and EU the most successful things of that nature in known history, created by democratic sovereign states.

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Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

Mage
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Re: Hmmm

Also it's more proof the term "AI" is marketing. Grammar checkers and Spelling checkers don't seem any better than 30 years ago.

Machine translation is rubbish to translate a book or even a half page of technical info. It's really bad to translate your own language to one for a different native speaker.

AI can't even correct OCR or proof read new writing. You need an experienced human proof reader.

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Registry to ban Cyrillic .eu addresses even if you've paid for them

Mage
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Re: ACII stupid question and you get a stupid ANSI...

In many languages, a missing accent on Latin alphabet is a different word.

It was stupid that Computers only suited the USA for so long. Even today a pure USA keyboard is key short compared to ANY european/English keyboard, The |\ beside Z is missing. It might be at the ~# location beside enter, then £ is replaced with # and maybe ¬ with ~, I forget.

I really like the Linux Unix keyboard with AltGr on almost every key instead of just áéíóú (not even on USA Windows!), also mapping Compose to CapsLock means the Character Map tool hardly needed. That's just Latin/Roman alphabet.

So many years Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Cyrillic and common Asian ones a nightmare. Crazy that AFTER it was all sorted, the Kindles for years only did Roman/Latin with accents and a few Greek letters.

The US software & HW industry adds the rest of the world, even non-US English as an afterthought.

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Mage
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Re: Here's a thought...

If I paste https://аррӏе.com/ (Cyrillic)

Hey there!

This site is obviously not affiliated with Apple, but rather a demonstration of a flaw in the way unicode domains are handled in browsers. It is very possible that your browser isn't affected.

Check out the complete blog post by Xudong Zheng for more details.

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Mage
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EU Xenophobic?

Not as much as the one country that's voted to leave. Plank & splinter. Kettle vs entire kitchen.

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Facebook shells out $8k bug bounty after quiz web app used by 120m people spews profiles

Mage
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Alert

Compensation?

If it was £100 to £100 per person, you'd see more secure sites and less spam. Fines for data breaches and cold calling are barely a blip, negligible. Adverts are worse. Usually a virtual slap and told not to run an ad that probably ceased months ago.

It needs to be top management, boards and shareholders that are fined, not the companies as that is simply penalising customers. Esp. bad when it's a Council, school, health etc.

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WPA3 is the magic number? Protocol refresh promises tighter Wi-Fi security

Mage
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Re: There are still easier ways to hack routers than WPA

malware on a site (likely in an advert) on your browser, and default password on the router.

I change default passwords on everything and use uMatrix on phone & laptop to block scripts.

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Mage
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Re: New hardware needed?

Not only the router, what about nintendos, PMPs, TVs, tablets, phones, laptops, cameras etc.

Unless EVERYTHING you have that you need can be updated, what use is a new protocol?

This is part of why there is no universal whitelisting only spam free email

Part of why IP v 6 has a problem (it has other problems too).

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Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

Mage
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Re: teletext screen resolution

The Apple II and CGA IBM were based on NTSC, only 480 visible lines, or 240 if interlaced. Hence 320 x 240 and 640 x 480 graphics modes on original VGA. The EGA 350 lines was maybe to allow overscan?

How many computers ever had European 768 x 576 square pixels? SVGA 800 x 600 was the closest. Did DELL have one mysterious laptop with 576 line LCD?

Also all the HD TV modes are based off Japanese NTSC derived hybrid analog HD, the 1125 lines is roughly 1050 visible. Even 720 lines is a big improvement on 480 line VGA. Not so much on any digital version of PAL. Also NTSC is the reason for poor 704 or 720 horizontal pixels on Digital "PAL" (non-USA) SD.

The BBC micro was one of the few ever with a decent range of graphics modes for European TV and video monitors.

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Mage
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Re: Rasperry Pi fail

Pi is a success. If you want something closer to bare metal, then the PIC18F family and JAL to program it. Direct I/O and access to all HW directly, but a nice high level language that accepts in-line assembler.

There is even a board that takes Ardiuno shields. Though I'd rather knock up a PIC on veroboard (stripboard) with the I/O better laid out than the shields. USB only needs a socket. Libraries for GLCDs, text LCD, SDIO, FAT etc.

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Mage
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seem determined to get a pint pot from a gallon

I don't know, looks like a bowl of piss.

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Mage
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Re: Amstrad 8256

I had Modula-2 and Prolog on mine. Upgraded to have DS 720K 3.5" floppy as second drive, extra ram, centronics + serial port for my modem. A REALLY slow 1 bit scanner using the printer. Also a mouse and a bit map graphics based pseudo DTP program, NewWord & Cracker (WP & Spreadsheet), Brainstorm and Circuit modeller, a sort of filter simulator that wasn't Spice.

I had a Spectrum and an Apple II (UCSD-pascal) + Z80 card (CPM & Z80 assembler), + Microprofessor when people had BBCs and Research Machines. Later I had a Jupiter Ace and wrote some forth, before I got the PCW.

I never really used Basic till after I did C++, then C. It was VB5 (briefly and then VB6 with Option Explicit and sometimes calling DLLs done in Modula-2 or C++). Early microcomputer BASIC looked like ForTran without the card punching to me. Macro Assembler and Pascal seemed more interesting after learning Fortran at College.

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Amazon, eBay and pals agree to Europe's other GDPR: Generally Dangerous Products Removed from websites

Mage
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Re: Dangerous?

I'm baffled by chargers with ONLY USA flat blade pins having a CE mark.

Even Amazon branded ones.

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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Mage
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FAIL

Re: 95 was a revolutionary change

No, it wasn't little more than Win3.x with Explorer shell, updated Win32s, replacement for VFW and bundled 32bit drivers. The 32bit TCP/IP was optional, and essentially the same.

NT 3.1 was MS's big change. The Explorer shell was even available as a tech preview for NT3.51.

The NT3.51 & Win3.x File manager was superior to Explorer's file manager and still worked on NT4.0 even without Progman shell.

Explorer's file manager got worse with Win7 and is horrible in Win10.

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Mage
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Re: NT 3.51 quite a bit more stable than NT4

The issue was GDI moved to Kernel to speed up video & animation and Direct X. Really stupid. With decent GFX hardware & printers and good drivers, the BSOD was very rare on NT4.0. Non-existent on NT 3.5 & NT3.51 unless faulty HW.

NT 3.51 was just the fake extra APIs added to NT3.5 due to MS deliberately ensuring MS Office 95 wouldn't run on WFWG3.11 etc, Many 32bit NT apps ran on Win32s on WFWG3.11. Like Win3.1x, Win95 & Win98 couldn't create Named Pipes, only connect as a client. So the same NT3.5x apps that didn't work on Win32s, didn't work on Win9x/ME.

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Mage
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Re: Vista (no Service Pack could save that blight).

Win7 should have been free to Vista users. It was the SP.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Win 98 gold standard of Windows

Nonsense. Only if you wanted games or software incompatible with NT.

Win 95 only advantage over WFWG 3.11 (properly installed with Win32S, VFW, 32bit TCP//IP and 32 bit disk drivers) was the Explorer desktop. NT3.x was best MS server OS in that era and NT4.0 in 1996 was what Win9x should have been. Win9x no security AT ALL. Cancelling login screen only blocked you from LAN server. Win9x encouraged a rash of bad software that on NT4.0, Win2K, XP and Vista could only run under Admin log in, or didn't work at all.

Success of Win9x for other than games held back security & decent program development for nearly 10 years.

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