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Comment Have you thought about a Samsung Galaxy Note? (Score 1) 356

Its not the cheapest of options, but it just works so well, with a front facing camera and 1280x800 pixels of screen all in something that does actually fit in your pocket. You can fit a 32gig microsd card so no problems with carrying your entertainment with you, it has 16 gig internal emmc 11gig usable for storage, so you won't loose all your settings if you do change sd cards all the time. The fact that it is a fully functioning phone (all be it a little large) that said its no bigger than some of the early windows mobile PDA's of yesteryear. Its totally rootable, I have root on mine :) As far as I know its the only android device to have a wacom pen (I'm assuming its wacom, because the pen from my bamboo tablet works with it) Its very happy to play virtually anything I throw at it even 1080p h264, which its capable of recording from its own camera.
With an MHL adaptor which can now be found cheaply on ebay you can play back your 1080p video on your high def TV or just use the samsung all share app to push content to your dnla device / tv

Downsides: 2 bad things I've found

1) Samsung feel that you MUST know when the battery is fully charged, even if its 2 o clock in the morning the device still proudly announces beep beep - "My battery is now fully charged you can unplug the charger" Having got root the first thing I did was rename the sample.

2) It comes shipped with vlingo for voice control. For me this is the worst voice control app I've ever used, it just doesn't work with my middle (some might say posh) english accent. Whats worse is that it doesn't do any processing on the phone, like siri your voice sample is uploaded to the cloud, processed (badly) then sent back to the phone, a process that takes up to 30 seconds depending on 3g coverage. Whereas the app that comes default with cyanogen and miui rom builds, just works, doesn't use the cloud and gets it right 95% of the time, even through a bluetooth handsfree kit. Worse still samsung have made this app non removable, the only way I was able to remove this was with titanium backup after rooting.
(Note at the time of writing cyanogen and miui roms are not available for the note, but are for the galaxy s 2)

These problems are exactly the same with the samsung galaxy s 2 phone.

Comment But what about the poor switches??? (Score 2) 462

Has anyone considered all the arcing and sparking that simple on / off / circuit breakers will have to deal with? At least with AC you have a chance that the switch will be opened or closed at the zero crossing period and that AC makes it harder to draw arcs when breaking a circuit.

I'm not sure its really going to present any more effeciancy. I guess if you use a 3 phase site rectifier then it will save you the cost of 3 phase copper and make the server power supplies cheaper. Not forgetting that you could actually plug an unmodified server directly into 384V DC (so long as the psu is set to 240v).
I guess the days of computers using 60hz as a reference are over :)

Comment Re:No Capes! -- Edna Mode (Score 1) 350

I love this, The Incredibles is a great Movie. Did anyone know that Edna is voiced by a guy?
Back to the topic, my glasses have UV filters in them, I have a UV laser pointer, with my glasses on it produces a Dim blue light, without them I can see the beam produced by the laser. UV lasers are fun things to shine around the garden at night, flowers glow brightly in unexpected colours.
The other fun thing to do with UV laser pointers is to graffiti up glow in the dark fire exit signs, I bought a sheet of glow paper and you can write on it with the laser pointer.

I guess a UV laser pointer may not be the best thing to play with if you have no natural UV filtering in your eyes


Submission + - Hackers break SSL encryption used by millions (

Oryn writes: Researchers have discovered a serious weakness in virtually all websites protected by the secure sockets layer protocol that allows attackers to silently decrypt data that's passing between a webserver and an end-user browser.

The vulnerability resides in versions 1.0 and earlier of TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to the secure sockets layer technology that serves as the internet's foundation of trust. Although versions 1.1 and 1.2 of TLS aren't susceptible, they remain almost entirely unsupported in browsers and websites alike, making encrypted transactions on PayPal, GMail, and just about every other website vulnerable to eavesdropping by hackers who are able to control the connection between the end user and the website he's visiting.

Comment I did find a difference between cables :) (Score 1) 399

I found 2 differences:
1) The more expensive cables look cooler than the cheap ones
2) The more expensive cables are a little more durable, I've had some cheap cables fall apart / break off Mostly its the cheap cables that try to look expensive that are the worst kind, those that are so thick you need pipe bending tools to bend them. The thin molded ones work great.

This whole argument has rather been done to death hasn't it?

Comment Telcos Have been always been able to locate you. (Score 1) 79

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, the cell towers have to know roughly where you are in order to route your calls, sms messages and even to make your phone ring. The only difference I can see is that this info is now being stored on your phone, why is that a problem? We are all carrying round this bit of grey matter which is doing the exact same thing.

It is still just possible to not be tracked if you follow this advice.
Don't use a credit card, and don't use a cell phone, don't even carry one, and don't use social networking of any kind, don't use any store based loyalty cards, don't have or use a bank account, buy everything with cash, work strictly cash in hand for someone who doesn't want or need to see your national insurance number or social security number, don't use or own a car use public transport instead, never fly anywhere, don't have any subscription based TV or radio services in fact don't have any subscription services such as land line phone or internet, Don't respond to any mail that drops through your door. In fact it might be best to be homeless or sleep in a tent.

Get Real people, just about everything we do in modern life allows us to be tracked in some way or other, why should a cache file used to help the phone and its application know roughly where it is make any difference?

If you are not breaking the law then you have nothing to hide. If you are breaking the law then be worried, be worried about the fact that we are all leaving DNA trails behind us all the time in the form of skin particulates and hairs. Be very worried because big brother is watching and recording, but also know that if you are not in the spotlight then he doesn't care.

Comment Full HD (Score 3, Interesting) 1140

It really bugs the hell out of me the way manufacturers like sony and asus have the cheek to put out a laptop with a 1440x900 screen or a 1600x900 screen and call it "Full HD". As far as I'm concerned Full HD is 1080 pixels vertical and 1920 pixels horizontal, since when does 900 = 1080 and 1440 = 1920?????
Unsatisfied with the screen res on my laptop I decided to upgrade it myself.
Luckily after a long phone call to a supplier, I was able to convince them to send me a 1920x1200 LCD panel that was a direct replacement for the 1440x900 panel, They told me it was unlikely to work, but it works great :) If anyone is interested I used a panel designed for a sony and fitted it to an asus g70. It cost me about 160ukp for the panel and about an hour to fit. I was able to try my g70 on a 1920x1200 panel first to see if it would drive it. Most LVDS LCD panels are interchangeable provided that they use the same backlighting technology.
Size and aspect ratio can be an issue too. I'm sure that case modders could make even a screen of totally the wrong aspect look ok. I guess it boils down to having the bottle to mod your brand new laptop. Yeah yeah I know someone is going to reply telling me the g70 is 2 years old, well simplyasus were selling off old stock cheaply, so I got a bargain.

PC Games (Games)

Valve Trademarks 'DOTA' 141

An anonymous reader tips news that Valve Software has filed a trademark claim for the term "DOTA," fueling speculation that the company will soon reveal a new Defense of the Ancients game. Voice actor John St. John recently said he was recording for such a game in a post to Twitter. The tweet was subsequently deleted. Last year Valve hired 'Icefrog,' lead developer for the original DotA mod.

Comment I wonder if apple have ever heard of SWR (Score 2, Informative) 534

Standing Wave Ratio is a measure of how much of the signal that you trying to fire out of an antenna is being reflected back.
A low SWR is an indication that most of your transmitting power is actually being delivered to your antenna.
I find it so hard to believe that anyone would have designed a hand held radio that lets the antenna come in contact with the human that's holding it.
Its bad enough to have capacitive coupling (Where the plastic casing is thin enough to allow the signal to be transfered to the user).
If you think about it most hand held radios (walky-talkies) have their antenna's in the end of a stick. Its only as phones have become small that this stick has become small too and as such produces concentrated RF emissions right next to your head. As a result manufacturers mostly place the gsm antenna at the bottom of the phone.

Most antennas have a hot end (usually the tip) its high voltage low current and a cold end (usually the base) low voltage high current.

Is it purely down to detuning or just a plane short circuit?

I've seen demo's on youtube that show an actual call being dropped, no amount of s-meter recalibration is going to fix that.

It would be interesting to see if the part of the side antenna that is (so say) shorting is the hot end or the cold end. If its the hot end then the problem may well be caused by the bluetooth or wifi radio actually swamping the gsm radio receiver. This could be fixed in software by detecting that the phone is being held (somehow) and turning off the wifi or bluetooth whilst in a call. This could be made to come into play only in a poor signal area.
(sorry to those of you in the know. Being a HTC user I'm not sure which side the wifi / bluetooth is on)

If its the cold end that is shorting then the best answer is a bumper. I'm sure it won't take long for these to be appearing very cheaply in ebay.

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"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian