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Leaked Letter Shows UK ISPs and Government At War Over Default Filters

ndixon Re:Summed up in verse (142 comments)

Maybe he likes swinging round somebody's neck. Or spending his time stuck between a pair of tits.

about a year and a half ago

Use Tor, Get Targeted By the NSA

ndixon Re:That's the point of Tor. (451 comments)

I think this is the trigger that'll make me start using Tor as a matter of routine. I am Spartacus and all that.

about a year and a half ago

Apple's New Patent Weapon — Location Services

ndixon Re:Patent from when exactly? (323 comments)

Okay, maybe the Palm VII didn't use GPS, but:

The first commercial LBS service in Japan was launched by DoCoMo, based on triangulation for pre-GPS handsets in July 2001, and by KDDI for the first mobile phones equipped with GPS in December 2001.

What was Xerox doing in the cellphone market around then? Nix.

...and of course Apple was violating, er, Apple's patent too, before Apple re-issued it.

more than 3 years ago

Apple's New Patent Weapon — Location Services

ndixon Patent from when exactly? (323 comments)

According to the patent, it's a reissue filed in 2010 of an earlier patent application which was was filed in 1998 and issued in 2000.

Why reissue it? Because it's under new ownership?

The reissued patent cites earlier patents going right up to 2009, and Apple didn't get into location-based services (i.e. iPhone) until 2007, after the LG Prada appeared. Meanwhile this happened:

The first consumer LBS-capable mobile web device was the Palm VII, released in 1999. Two of the in-the-box applications made use of the ZIP code-level positioning information and share the title for first consumer LBS application: the Weather.com app from The Weather Channel, and the TrafficTouch app from Sony-Etak / Metro Traffic.

Since Palm had a LBS product out before the original patent was issued, and Xerox never really turned their patent into a product, how the f**k is this new patent enforceable?

more than 3 years ago

Nanomagnets Could Replace Transistors in Microprocessors

ndixon Does this mean... (91 comments)

... I could get a smartphone that will last a whole week on a charge?

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How/Where To Start Watching Dr. Who?

ndixon Re:At the risk of my nerd card... (655 comments)

As someone from the UK who was watching Dr Who in the seventies and eighties, the old seasons peaked with Tom Baker.

The later seasons with Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy seemed weaker; maybe that's because it was still aimed at a young age group that I was growing out of, or maybe it's because by then I'd seen enough US Sci Fi movies and TV shows that Dr Who looked distinctly low-budget.

The new series' have much higher production values, and seem to be pitched at an older audience - my kids can enjoy it, but there's something there for adults too.
David Tennant made a better Doctor than Christopher Eccleston though.

Best candidate for Twelfth Doctor: Benedict Cumberbatch.

more than 3 years ago

Bjarne Stroustrup Reflects On 25 Years of C++

ndixon 25 Years? (553 comments)

Feels like fifty.

more than 4 years ago

Rupert Murdoch Claims To Own the 'Sky' In 'Skype'

ndixon Re:Hah! SK Hand Tools owns the SK in Sky! (186 comments)

You think that is bad, wait till they have to pay another 2/5 for BS.

Subscribers have been paying for that for over two decades now.

more than 4 years ago

Google Introduces New Android Features

ndixon Re:Part of the bluetooth voice dialing (271 comments)

The Motorola Droid does "Voice Dialing", in that you select the voice dial app by hand, speak a command, then acknowledge any prompts by hand. It does not do hands free voice dialing (wired or bluetooth) in the manner that many phones have been doing for 5 years and more: Touch button on hands-free kit and interact totally by voice.

This is one of the main reasons why I'm not going near Android yet: "all with only a single touch of your phone." is not hands-free.

When Android phones appear with true hands-free voice dialing (through a Bluetooth headset) and can run for 3-4 days on a single charge, I'll be interested.
Until then, I'm sticking with dumb-phones.

(Samsung phones like my S7220 don't have hands-free voice-dialing either, any of them as far as I can tell - the market-led engineering at Samsung dictates that smile detection and "fake calls" are more important - but I can go six days on a single charge *)

I don't expect to see that longevity on Android until 2012, if at all.

* But only because I have no friends

more than 4 years ago

The 'Net Generation' Isn't

ndixon Re:Tech is still Tech, yucko! (435 comments)


We had to type in our games by hand, in hexadecimal, for two whole hours. And fix the bugs introduced by printing errors in the magazine. Then after playing for five minutes, we'd switch off, and next time we'd have to type in the whole thing again.

You try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

Scary thing is: I still have the Yorkshire accent.

more than 4 years ago

Scientists Create Equation For a Perfect Handshake

ndixon Cheap cars, cheap marketing (144 comments)

Also reported by the Daily Mail, the Belfast Telegraph, Daily Star, and a whole bunch of other sh*trags that can't be bothered to report real stories. Even Fox News got in on the act.

This "research" was revealed in a press release published by Chevrolet UK (that's GM's rebadged Daewoo division), who are desperate to get people to buy their cars without paying for a full-page ad.

Amusingly though, Fox News and The Independent (which are poles apart in editorial views) reported this without even mentioning the company behind the press release; this thwarts GM's efforts, but also suggests that they think this is real news about real research, and not just a cheap marketing stunt.

more than 4 years ago

How the Mozilla Sniffer Backdoor Was Discovered

ndixon Re:Informative article (201 comments)

If only they'd called it "Fluffy Kittens Tab Prettifier" they'd have got away with it completely undetected.

more than 4 years ago

Updated Mac Mini Aims For the Living Room

ndixon Re:Expensive (638 comments)


2GB RAM and 320GB disk is the spec I bought (admittedly in a generic Dell PC) three years ago, for £450. Now Apple would like me to pay £649 for much the same thing.

Yes, I know Apple hardware is better built (ignoring for a moment the more serious design mistakes) but that Apple price premium always keeps me away from their products - I consider it a tax on stupidity.

more than 4 years ago

2 In 3 Misunderstand Gas Mileage; Here's Why

ndixon Re:In the rest of the world (1042 comments)

Many BMW models have an mpg gauge in the lower half of the rev-counter, so you can actually see a needle flicking across when you rev the engine.

That's more visible than trip-computers, which most people probably have set to display range or average speed and not mpg.

more than 4 years ago

Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards

ndixon bitmap-oriented (515 comments)

What does Charles Geschke mean when he says HTML is "basically a bitmap-oriented representation of information"?

Has he forgotten about SVG ? Adobe still distributes a viewer for SVG, and there's native support in Firefox.

I think they're basically saying "We don't want open standards - we want only our standard".

more than 4 years ago

HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive

ndixon Re:Reliability and image quality? Ha! (651 comments)

"Ink technology is expensive, and you pay for reliability and image quality."

I guess that explains why every time I go to use it my HP inkjet printer it has clogged up and I have to waste several pages and plenty of ink just to get it cleaned up enough to produce a decent printout. Granted, I go a couple of weeks between uses, but why can't a printer handle a duty cycle like that? By contrast my laser printer handles printing just fine whether I'm printing every day or leave it for a month, and the toner costs a tiny fraction of the per-page costs of the inkjet.

Between expense and unreliability, clearly inkjet technology isn't yet ready for real-world use. Buy a laser printer.

I completely agree. Ink-jets work best (least worst) when they're in regular (if not continual) use. But regular use means you really get stung by the price of the inks.

Many people with ink-jets use them only occasionally, at most once or twice a week. So the ink dries up, and you have to use way too much just to get the ink flowing again.

(Where are mod points when you need 'em?)

more than 4 years ago

HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive

ndixon Re:HP continues to lie about prices (651 comments)

Since I'm an old guy who was using PCs in the DOS era, I'm entitled to reminisce about how things were better in the old days:

In the mid 1980's, I was using a Citizen 120D, a 9-pin dot matrix printer (standard for So/Ho use at the time, real professionals were using 24-pin printers), and that cost around £150 in the UK ($180 in the US).
With inflation, that would be around £300 ($330) today.

Similarly, I had the luxury of using a DeskJet 500 in the late '80s. That was a $500 printer, but the thing lasted for nearly ten years. It was bulletproof.

For something like $100 back then, people in the UK could by a crappy thermal printer like the Alphacom 32

And that's when printers had their own ROMs so they knew how to print stuff without relying on drivers or Windows GDI. Before the cost-cutting started.

So I conclude that as printers have got cheaper, they've actually got worse. Any printer these days costing less than about $100 will be absolute crap, and for anything good, we should get used to the idea of spending $200 upwards for something that will probably outlast our PC.

Rant over. Get off my lawn, kids.

more than 4 years ago

HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive

ndixon Re:No sensible, honest person would work for HP? (651 comments)

...the consumer and desktop level printers are pretty much disposable junk with very expensive consumables.


The last 2 printers I bought were HP all-in-ones (printer/scanner/copier) at around £40 each. Both failed just after 12 months.

The first one (a C4180) gradually became unable to feed paper - I tried cleaning the rollers but that didn't really help; possibly some internal part had worked loose and was obstructing the paper.

The second printer (d7160 I think) suddenly became unable to recognise the presence of (genuine) printer cartridges.

So in the last 2-3 years, I've spent more on HP printers than on the ink cartridges, and after I bought replacement cartridges the printers never lasted long enough to use up all the ink.

more than 4 years ago

Duke To Shut Down Usenet Server

ndixon I blame.... (273 comments)

... Canter & Siegel.

more than 4 years ago


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