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Comment Re:Electronic media sucks (Score 2) 133

1. Strip the DRM
2. I don't find ePaper to be a problem, but I don't like reading a phone or tablet. On the other hand, every ebook I have has the spacing, margins, font and font size I want it to have - not that which fitted the format the publisher wanted or typesetter liked one day.
3. The last three I bought (on Amazon) were 1/3rd cheaper than their paperback versions.
4. Yes - biggest problem, gifting a used book is problematic, though Strip the DRM and it's not so hard to sideload them to most devices.
5. Didn't you just say that? Strip the DRM and remember not to read them or loan them out to others while your recipient is reading them.

Honestly, the industry is going to have to learn that restricting ownership rights to licensing for personal use is a dead end and a bad move that will increase piracy. Until then, I'll just buy eBooks and notionally treat them as paper books.

Comment Re:Paper (Score 5, Interesting) 133

* Have randomly sized text
* Are impractical to carry in enough quantity for 1-2 weeks away from home
* Require an external light source
* Can't be easily searched
* Annotation is messy and often frowned upon
* You lose your place if you fall asleep while reading them
* Can't read themselves to you
* You have to visit a physical store to get a new one

I don't disagree with your list, just think there's an equal (or in my view greater) list on the other side.

DRM is the big problem, but honestly - screw what I've signed up for, I just treat them as if I'd bought the book, I hope governments will eventually forcibly equalise this difference.

Submission + - Nuclear Fusion PoC in a year, 100MW prototype in 5... (

ItsIllak writes: The huge news is that this isn't from some scientist that won't allow open analysis of their work, it's from Lockheed Martin. They believe they can have a working production model of a 7x10' reactor that generates 100MW through a deuterium-tritium fuelled fusion reaction. Sorry — I can't write any more, need to go and buy LMT equity.

Comment Re:"For advertising purposes" (Score 1) 143

That's completely unfair - they'll decided to retire the product in a couple of years not only ceasing collecting information from those users but also leaving them stranded and without a solution because they'd spent the previous years stifling competition by offering a competent free alternative.

Comment Re: Digital image stabilization makes a comeback. (Score 1) 178

As far as I'm aware, the only thing is lacks is any sort of aperture control. That's because it's fixed at, from memory, F2.2.

Does that mean it's not the same as a DSLR? Yes, that's exactly what it means.

Does it mean it's much better than anything else you can get in a phone (and most things you get in point-and-shoot)? Yes, it does.

But the killer app here is the 41mp. Each photo sensor is awful - look at 1:1 zoom and you'll see so much noise it'll give you headaches. But that's not the point. The point is that you can scale that down to 21mp and there's be much less noise. Put it through noise ninja and there'll be less again. Bring it down to 5mp and it'll, in some circumstances - common circumstances - be up there with the Micro 4/3rds cameras.

I'll be buying one, and I'll be buying the camera grip with the extended battery built in. When I'm out as a tourist or a proud dad, I'll carry them both. From day-to-day, I'll just carry the phone and be ready to take far better photos than almost everyone else.

Comment Re:Raspberry Pi (Score 1) 119

I just don't get how it's actually supposed to do it.

One of the independent coding initiatives (in fact, most of them) in the UK had a bunch donated to them by Google. My club of 15 kids got three and I'm supposed to give them out to the kids. I'm almost 100% certain they will sit in a cupboard and never get used - I mean, what's the point? 99% of families have a laptop - that includes a keyboard and a screen, without that - for most people - a computer is useless.

Comment Re:What is behind the changes. (Score 1) 119

Decisions on equipment like this are usually made at school level (by the head and by the board of governors). I don't recall any mandate to buy interactive whiteboards.

That said - I can't see why you use that example - they are amongst the most engaging pieces of equipment in the classroom and allow the teachers to "buy in" materials to really add interest to their lesson plans.

The sad thing is how the schools are ripped off by vendors, in fact LEAs pretty much mandate that schools should be ripped off by forcing them to use specific vendors. Something rotten in the state of Denmark...

Comment Re:too early (Score 2) 119

I've taught 9-11 year-olds programming and about 80% of the class is capable of learning enough to solve simple problems given to them. Frankly, the 20% are unable to concentrate on anything other than video games or TV - they're the ones that would be staring into space or playing football every waking hour 20-30 years ago.

20-30% can excel and really grasp some or all of the basic concepts in such a way that they can solve significant novel problems and even set those problems for themselves.

Comment The problem: Too many cooks... (Score 2) 117

...but the government isn't one of them.

We now have Code Club, Coder Dojo, Coding in Schools and half a dozen more individuals and groups working towards roughly the same goals. Each one of these groups is effectively cannibalising each other's target audience. All these people at the helm of each of these groups needs to be congratulated and then locked in a room with all of the others until they can agree a single national plan.

Personally I've gone with Code Club and teach a weekly hour class in my kids' primary school (kindergarten). I've brought one set of kids through the first of three "terms" of coding, been given 3x RPi to give out to semi randomly selected members of the club and plan to do a better job next year. The weekly tasks do a pretty good job of introducing practice in the basic concepts of programming (variables, variable scope, loops, conditions etc..) but weren't explicit enough to allow the kids to use them outside the context in which they were taught. To be honest, I think much of it was done by mimicry rather than understanding.

Comment Poorly thought out service. (Score 1) 215

I read about this on the BBC news website (, missing the first line of the article that said it was US only, I logged into the service to see what I'd bought that was going to show up. Immediately, Beautiful South, Gaze popped up. Strange, I didn't actually remember buying it but it's possible. Then that was it. So I go through my purchases and, like others, there were heaps of popular CDs that I'd bought as gifts.

Apart from the obvious problem, I put a message in to Amazon wondering why Gaze was the only track I got. About an hour later I got a call (during the work day, to my mobile from a hidden number!) from a confused CS rep. Eventually established that it was US only and that Gaze was some weird quirk and I shouldn't have received it.

Somehow, this seems a bit of an ill conceived dodgily implemented service. I bet it sinks without a trace. I assume Amazon are having to pay for all these tracks (at some massively discounted rate) and are doing it to try to convince people to use their service. That's some financial commitment - wonder if the physical CD prices are about to be hiked...?

Submission + - Google's assault on Windows Phone continues with a block on maps ( 3

ItsIllak writes: Reports started coming in last night that Google have targeted the users of Windows Phone devices and begun to deny access to their maps in-browser service on the increasingly popular mobile devices. On the back of their recent withdrawal of Exchange Activesync from Google Apps, the announcement that they would not be writing their apps for the platform, and several other decisions this brings into question the company's "Do No Evil" motto when it comes to users who choose competitors systems.

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