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Comment Fujitsu snapscan, and maintain it (Score 2) 311

As others have said, Fujitsu Snapscan. For around £350 you get a compact dual sided scanner that just works. We used them in a previous job and they had no trouble scanning thousands of pages a week with almost no jams.

Also, if any scanner starts to pick up multiple sheets or jam, look for a maintenance kit. Replacing the pads and rollers is a simple, routine task and does wonders. We kept spares in stock and had to service scanner feeds every couple of years or so.

Comment Re:Why is this relevant? (Score 1) 372

I wouldn't count out Autodesk, they are big MS fans and have a tendency to jump on the last and greatest. At the very least I would expect a tablet compatible viewer; that allows the kinds of demonstrations that sell product.

Autocad proper will be x86 only, but there will almost certainly be some MS tablet support.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 161

There's already at least one virus that successfully worked around this with a man in the middle attack: Instead of trying to make a payment directly, it modified a payment you were making. Of course the bank prompted for an authorisation code, but as the user was making a payment they were expecting this, and promptly entered the details, sending some random amount to an account controlled by the virus writers.

The really clever bit was that it also re-wrote the screen display, to make it appear as though your expected transaction had gone through. It calculated the appropriate balance, and even re-wrote the online statements so nothing appeared out of place. It was running for many, many months before it was discovered.

Comment Re:AAPL (Score 1) 504

For a gaming console, watch the Apple TV. It will only happen if they feel the market is ripe for it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Apple TV morph into a low cost home entertainment hub, covering TV, movies, internet, music and gaming.

One thing you can count on - if Apple move into gaming, it won't be just another console.

PS. If they do release one, if the controller isn't a wireless touchscreen device of some kind I'll eat my hat.

Comment Re:Can google wipe my phone? (Score 1) 446

No, I don't mean is there a setting to do this. I mean, just by using Activesync to connect to a free gmail account, is my phone granting remote wipe privileges to google?

They probably haven't implemented it, and I do trust google more than most companies, but I still don't like the thought of my email provider having any kind of remote wipe ability, purely by virtue of the connection type being used.

Comment Can google wipe my phone? (Score 1) 446

So if this is tied to Activesync, does that mean google can wipe my phone now?

Activesync is the way everyone I know connects to gmail to synchronise calendars as well as email, I wasn't aware that I was granting remote wipe privileges to google as I set this up.

Sure, it's unlikely to happen, but it shouldn't even be possible! Stuff like that is an accident waiting to happen.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1, Interesting) 104

Don't think of it as a replacement for a console, but instead of a way for you to take your console game out with you wherever you go. That has the potential to be a powerful combination. A full console game you play as normal at home, but while you're out you can still work on character progression, or play with your friends.

Sure, the gameplay experience on the phone isn't going to be identical, but it doesn't have to be. The added convenience of having your games with you wherever you go means that people are more than happy to put up with a smaller screen. I was a huge fan of flight sims on the PC, now one of my favourite games is a space combat sim on the iPhone. Sure, the graphics aren't as good, and the controls are a bit more fiddly, but it has the all essential essence of the game, it's fun to play, and because I always have my phone with me, I can play it anytime I want.

Sure, this might not be for everyone. For a die hard console enthusiast, with plenty of time to stay home and play, they're always going to prefer native console games. However, there's a much bigger market of people for whom gaming is something they have to fit around their other commitments, and for that market, this could be huge.

Also, if your phone becomes an integral part of the games, imagine this: There's nothing to stop companies using phones as a wireless controller with a built in display, and built in storage. You can use the phone to display game elements distinct to your character, and to store your save games. So now you don't need to buy consoles with a bunch of controllers for multiplayer gaming, if you want to play with some mates you can head over to anybody's house with a console, you all have your controllers with you, and you all have your saved characters. Plus you could start the game while you're in the pub, not many consoles can do that :-)

And I'll leave you with one final bit of food for thought: Imagine what's going to happen if something like WoW were to adopt that platform... An immersive MMO that you can play online at home with your friends, or play with friends at somebody's house, or just play on your own anywhere you like...

I doubt phones will replace consoles, but there's potential for them to supplement them beautifully.

Comment Fatally flawed!! (Score 2, Interesting) 509

Great concept, but there are some rather glaring problems.

Let's take the "Pedestrian detection with auto brake" feature for example:

Lovely in theory, except for all the moronic teens who will delight in jumping out in front of Volvos confident that the car can't hit them. You're going to have idiot kids hit by drivers of old style cars, as well as a whole bunch of tail end collisions caused by this. It'd render roads near schools undrivable at closing time.

Oh, and you have to love the fact that they're adding a warning light that flashes when it sees a problem. Which seems to miss the fact that the warning light itself is going to immediately distract you, and make it more likely that you're not going to see the pedestrian it's trying to warn you of.

While backed by the best of intentions, I just can't see this becoming reality for a long while.

Comment Monitoring traffic, not customers (Score 4, Interesting) 139

The thing is, if you ignore the sensationalist headline and look at what there doing, it's just a list of websites that are accessed over their network, which they're using to create an opt in filtering system.

Oh no, an ISP actually doing something useful for it's customers, whatever will we do!

Stories like this are what annoy me about the press (slashdot included).

Comment It was useless anyway (Score 4, Informative) 133

As one of their ideal customers, we used to make a lot of use of eOpen. We registered all our licences on there, and it was nice, a single portal to track all of our Microsoft licences and upgrade rights.

Then we left it without logging on for a while (after all, it was all working fine), and the next time we tried to use it we discovered Microsoft had wiped *ALL* of our licence information that we had painstakingly entered into their site.

Turns out that they linked the accounts to Live, and that your account expires if you don't use it for 90 days.

Handy that for corporate account licence management, and strangely enough we haven't used it since.

Comment Get them to try Ubuntu 9.10 for a fortnight (Score 1) 932

Seriously, 9.10 has its rough points, but it's worth a try. I've just installed it for my mother in law, it runs Facebook games fine, so she's happy :)

It's far, far quicker than windows, and doesn't suffer from viruses to anything like the same extent. She was amazed at the simple things like how quickly it shuts down.

Comment Re:Swap the damn hardware (Score 1) 274

No, but if the computer is that badly broken, you're better off telling them that you'll need to take it away to find what's faulty.

After all, you can either sit there for hours and hours running various test programs on dodgy hardware in an attempt to guess which part is bad, or you can take it away, spend a few minutes plugging in good components, and have a much better shot at telling them what's faulty.

It takes you less time, and it's a far more professional approach. Instead of saying "I think it's the graphics card", but having nothing more than an educated guess to back that up, after swapping the hardware you're now in a position to say "I'm pretty sure it's the graphics card, and it's run fine here overnight with a new one fitted".

Swapping the hardware saves you time and them money. If you don't have hardware to swap, make damn sure you tell people that at best you can give them an educated guess as to what's gone wrong.

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 283

/rollseyes Because Microsoft don't have any programmers capable of writing this interface in any other form right?

Running the selection process inside IE is a blatant attempt to sway the user towards selecting IE, well, that along with installing IE by default (and requiring an internet connection to download the others), putting IE first on the list, and prompting the user with security warnings if they make any other suggestion.

Microsoft abused the market to get IE to the position its in, and they're going to use every trick in the book to try to keep it there.

Comment Big picture anybody (Score 1) 239

I'm amazed that nobody else has commented on how huge a deal this is. Microsoft are *not* going to be happy.

Google have basically said that it's too much of a nuisance to develop for IE. They want to focus their development on a single web platform, and released a tool to allow them to do that.

But what nobody seems to be mentioning is how this could transform the browser wars. If Google take the logical next step of releasing this as a general purpose development tool, there's no need to develop for IE any more. Web developers can just optimize for Chrome and run the code on either browser. And that negates Microsoft's advantage of having the dominant browser, it breaks the vicious circle that is Microsoft's browser monopoly:

Microsoft's 90% hold on desktop browsers -> Developers have to focus on IE -> Users and corporations use IE

With Googles plugin, that 90% hold on the desktop becomes far less relevant. Google can give developers the choice of developing for their browser, without reducing the available user base. After all, Microsoft have spent years training users to install any ActiveX control a website needs, what end user isn't going to trust a plugin from Google? :-)

This gives the market the freedom to choose to develop for Google Chrome without worrying about Microsoft's majority share on the desktop.

And make no mistake, that's huge.

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