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Comment Re:Honest question: what is the best... (Score 1) 103

probably a Linx tablet ( We got some at work to try out, and for light use they aren't too bad. Not as speedy as a Surface Pro, but much cheaper and definitely capable enough for a bit of web browsing, simple Office use, etc. They have a micro-HDMI port so can easily be hooked up to a TV or monitor when necessary.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

Just come back from a visit to the US and wasn't asked anything at immigration in Houston - just completed an onscreen immigration form, fingerprints and photo and then waved through. Don't remember even speaking to anyone, if I did it was just to confirm that I wasn't there on business. Same lack of questioning for the flight home to the UK from JFK.

A few years ago in San Francisco, I had a nice chat about the relative merits of England and the USA in the World Cup that was about to start, and a couple of years later a more standoffish conversation at Chicago about why I was going to Seattle (he seemed not to have heard about Grunge). It has been standard practice for a long time to ask questions to see if people seem legitimate, it's just that when it is done well it comes across as just having a pleasant conversation.

Comment Re: Root of the confusion (Score 1) 42

The worst that I can see that being viewed as is plagiarism - and that would depend on whether or not you were trying to pass it off as entirely your own work. This type of activity is happening with increasing frequency in the photography world - photo used for an advert is a third-party reshoot of something that another photographer had posted online. There have been court cases, but because you can't copyright the concept then they have tended to be for things like loss of earnings, plagiarism, etc. Here is an example from a few days ago

Comment Re:You get what you pay for... (Score 1) 123

He was using the accounts of the USERS of the websites, not the OWNERS. Putting in a backdoor would mean that even when the admin passwords are changed, he would still have access to the data. Also, a backdoor likely also gives a level of plausible deniability to deflect suspicion should a 'hack' ever be spotted internally - "it can't have been me. I never had access to the live server. I just gave you the code to deploy yourself".

Comment What does that even mean? (Score 1) 127

"Could run a PC" - what is that supposed to mean? If it just means that you can use an HDMI cable or wireless connection to hook it up to a larger screen like a TV or monitor, then phones and tablets have been doing that for years. If it means that hooking it up to a screen allows the use of a 'full' desktop OS, then that is just what Ubuntu tried and failed to deliver several years ago. Either way, not news, just an ad.

Comment Re:What's the reason for reason? (Score 1) 76

Opus means 'Work' (see 'Magnum Opus', so nothing to do with water.
Walrus is a reference to 'I am the Walrus' by the Beatles.
Squid probably came about because someone thought that it was a funny play on words with quid, i.e. a pound.
Oyster is apparently inspired by the Oysters found in the Thames and the phrase 'The World is your Oyster'.
The others are, as the parent suggests, probably related to things of local significance.

Comment Anything to do with the new Blade Runner film? (Score 1) 203

With a new Blade Runner film, I wonder if the name change is partly to distance itself from that - the Nexus name is a homage to the android models in the film, after all. Or maybe it has just run its course, it becomes harder to have distinctive model names for consumers when you just name it after the screen size in inches.

Alternatively, it is probably part of some evil scheme for Google/Alphabet to spy on us and control our lives by adapting the information we encounter until we are just robotic slaves ready to do the corporation's evil bidding!!!!1!1!!! or something.

Comment Re:remember CJD? (Score 2, Interesting) 258

Don't know where you are, but in the UK (home of "Mad Cow Disease") we were told that it was the result of using cheap cattle feed that included ground-up sheep infected with Scrapie. This induced BSE in the cows, which resulted in CJD when people ate a significant amount of the infected beef. It may be that the pasteurisation of the cattle feed was changed and so the Scrapie was not killed off, but I would say that a bigger issue is feeding ground up animals to herbivorous livestock in the first place!

Comment Games can be educational, this probably won't be (Score 2) 198

As others have said, 'Game-based learning' can be a powerful tool for engaging people in learning and it allows the exploration of different scenarios, cause-and-effect, etc. However, the effective ones are designed to be more like entertaining simulations - that is, the educational aspects are considered first and foremost and the entertaining game elements built around that. Taking an existing game, tweaking it a bit and then claiming that it is now educational is extremely unlikely to work (though, if it makes money for the publisher then they will claim it has been a success).

Comment Re: it hasn't been the "legendary gaming company". (Score 1) 84

IOT = solution in search of a problem.

As someone who has investigated this stuff a fair bit, I agree that the connected appliances that are currently being pushed are uninteresting and, frequently, pointless. However, an INTRANET of Things is a whole different proposition, with sensors connected to a central processing device/server that uses the data to make complex decisions and then controls various other devices to effect the required changes. That, to me, starts to look really interesting as the security issues are reduced by being a much more contained system, the owner has total control over what events lead to what actions, etc.

My own particular research interest is in how (whether?) the IoT can aid learning and teaching in universities, so fairly niche, but one that certainly looks like it might have some promise.

Comment sounds like my PhD work from 10+ years ago (Score 3, Interesting) 27

I wrote a PhD on this technique as a way to support collaborative learning by allowing third-party annotation sharing:

In essence, the only way to do this without storing a copy of the original page (which has merit, but is challenging legally and in terms of disk space), is to store the annotations, pull in the page and then merge the annotations and send the output to the viewer. So it is basically acting as a proxy, but means that there are potential issues with orphaned annotations - the more dynamic nature of the web today would cause real problems in getting any kind of consistent output for two different people, or even for the same person at different times. I have to admit, I was looking at the educational side of things and so the security issues were less of a consideration, but things like the injection of malicious code, invisible amendments (e.g. censorship) to the underlying text, etc. were all pretty obvious.

Anyway, the technique itself was far from novel when I started working on my PhD, but given the continued citations to papers that I published back ( then it seems to still be an area of active research.

Submission + - Sneak Peek: Arduino Srl's Primo and Primo Core IoT Duo (

DeviceGuru writes: Arduino Srl will unveil a wireless-rich, IoT oriented Arduino Primo SBC and companion Primo Core module family at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif. on Friday. The new boards don’t run their sketches on the traditional Atmega32 MCU. Instead the boards substitute a more powerful MPU that’s located in an IoT-oriented Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 wireless system-on-chip. The Nordic chip implements BLE, NFC, and IR, while an Esspresif ESP8266 chip handles WiFi functions and connectivity. To make matters more interesting, there's also an STM32L0 MCU for supervisory tasks. The 40x40mm-diameter Primo Core module only includes the Nordic chip, and has more limited functionality. Arduino says both boards run standard Arduino sketches without modification, are programmed using the familiar Arduino IDE. The Primo SBC adds Arduino shields expansion to the mix.

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