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Comment No decent new Android tablet in the last year (Score 3, Interesting) 127

It doesn't help that the last flagship tablet releases by Samsung (the Tab S2) and Google (Nexus 9) were not only expensive, but disappointingly 4:3 aspect ratio, making them poor for games and videos. I think Samsung's Tab S 8.4" and 10.5" tablets were the pinnacle w.r.t. the display on an Android tablet and there's been nothing since then worth buying. Heck, Google completely ignored tablets at their last launch, instead flogging clearly overpriced phones. If a Samsung Tab S3 came out with a 16:10 display like the Tab S, but with more RAM/faster CPU/GPU, then I'd probably first in line to buy it.

It's sad that my venerable Nexus 10 is still pressganged into service (with CyanogenMod on it of course, like all my tablets) - it was the last decent large tablet Google sold. It's no wonder tablets are dropping in sales - the Android tablet manufacturers in particular have almost given up making an effort to create a decent tablet. Yes, I know about the Yoga Book, but the price is a little steep considering the specs aren't fantastic and you can't detach the display and use it as a standalone tablet.

Comment Won't they have to also block other DNS services? (Score 1) 194

Providing a national DNS service with nanny filtering sounds too easy to workaround (just point to Google's DNS, OpenDNS etc. instead - just any non-UK reliable DNS service would do). Wouldn't they also have to have the ISPs blocking those other DNS services as well?

Like all these blocking services, they'll never publish the full list of what they block, hiding behind the claim that it's either proprietary or will give people clues as where the dodgy sites are. Problem is, this means they can block all sort of sites incorrectly and it's hard to know they've done it until someone has to go and kick up a fuss about it in the media.

Comment Re:Don't panic (Score 1) 99

Yes, it's a bit weird that someone posted up "we need an LTS with 10 years of fixes" when there's been a very prominent one (Red Hat and its derivatives) available for quite some time. RHEL isn't targeted at embedded systems admittedly and they've only just introduced a preview of an ARM variant with version 7. The oldest supported RHEL kernel is the creaking 2.6.18 - with a ton of backports - found in RHEL 5, but beware that support for that ends in 6 months...

Comment Depressing for the UK tech industry (Score 2) 65

ARM was a shining light of the the UK tech industry - its clever strategy of licensing its designs without manufacturing them made it a stellar company. Now it's been sold off to a Japanese company-swallowing mega-corporation, so is there a UK-owned equivalent to ARM left in the tech industry? It's a sad say, even if Softbank overpaid somewhat.

Comment Good, I've waved my Google+ account goodbye (Score 1) 45

Being anti-social, I hate anything that reeks of social media, but I do like posting up comments about apps on Google Play. For a long time, I just needed a standard Google account to do this and was very annoyed when I was effectively forced to sign up to Google+ just to make comments on the Play Store (the two should *never* have been forcibly joined, IMHO).

Not only did I have to regularly trawl through my Google+ settings to disable every single "we'll share everything with everyone" option (and any new option added was invariably enabled and you weren't told about it), but the Google Play Games dialogue box that popped up on first run of a game would have all its settings default to share everything about the game with everyone, so I had to tediously disable those as well for each game.

So there's a bit of joy this week as I managed to delete the Google+ account that I never used other than as an "auth" for Play Store reviews. Having deleted my Linkedin account (that I also never used) due to the recently revealed hack, I can proudly say that I'm no longer on social media at all. Now get off my lawn!

Comment Re:Pi lasts over 13 hours for me on battery... (Score 1) 59

And yet three seriously weak points of the Pi 2, namely the 1GB RAM (I'd far rather have 2GB RAM than "faster" 1GB RAM, especially with a 64-bit CPU), 100 Mbit/sec Ethernet (ruling out the Pi as a fast fileserver - can't believe Gigabit costs much more) and the pitiful USB (2 - In this day and age ) weren't upgraded at all. If they fix these three, I'll be first in line for the Pi 4.

Comment Pi lasts over 13 hours for me on battery... (Score 1) 59

With a Xiaomi 10000 mAh power bank attached to my Pi 2 Model B running Raspbian desktop (but idle, other than a script writing the uptime to a file every minute), I got 13 hours and 46 minutes before the power ran out. I wonder if the Pi port of Android will support the Pi 2 Model B too? It'll be annoying if it doesn't, because the Pi 3 wasn't a massive upgrade over the Pi 2 Model B.

Comment Write a small utility that works better (Score 1) 255

Why not write a small utility that may do something similar to sometrhing that already exists (let's face it, almost everything has been thought of already!) but does it a better/easier way?

For example, I always hated the syntax of sed (regexp's aren't easy either) and it missed quite a few features I'd like, so I wrote "replace" instead:

http://hpux.connect.org.uk/hpp...

I also find "bc", "dc" and "calc" completely unfathomable, so I wrote my own "calc" (without knowing about the other one until well afterwards!) which actually has an expression evaluator based on BASIC (i.e. "obvious"):

http://hpux.connect.org.uk/hpp...

Neither utility is large and both were fairly straightorward to write and I use both quite regularly to this day, many years after writing them.

Comment What exactly is proprietary JavaScript? (Score 2) 154

JavaScript is loaded client-side and can be downloaded and viewed as plain text, so it's certainly not closed source. Minified JavaScript is just JS code that's harder to understand due to function/variable substitution and whitespace stripping and again it's not closed source.

I don't know if you can actually buy commercial JavaScript libraries, but if you did, all the source code would be sent to the public every time a page was loaded with the JS loaded from it, so again it isn't closed source, but technically could be proprietary (i.e. it can only be used on authorised sites and anyone putting it on another unauthorised site is breaking the licence terms).

What's the difference, though, between custom HTML/CSS and custom JS in terms of licencing? All of them could be developed in-house and have the same "proprietary" licencing (i.e. can't be copied and used on other sites) - after all it's illegal to clone someone's site and host it elsewhere without permission surely?

I think the FSF have got this one wrong - if there was a way to make JS closed source, then they might have a point, but claiming JS can be "proprietary" just because it's minified or developed in-house (and not usable on other sites - after all, a lot of money could have been spent developing - or purchasing - the JS) is barking up the wrong tree. As long as the JS works cross-platform on the major browsers, I see no issue myself.

Comment Probably US-only, so useless for most people... (Score 1) 67

You do suspect there'll be unskippable ads in this (even 6 second-long ones would be abhorrent on a subscription service). but even worse I suspect it'll be US-only, which would be a huge missed revenue opportunity. Many US people will already have access to the channels on cable, so the real demand for this would surely be non-US viewers?

Comment You still have to pay for much of Amazon's content (Score 1) 105

What riles me about Amazon's Prime Video service is that not only do you have to pay a subscription, but quite often there's a charge for content too, which Netflix doesn't do. A random example - the 15-year-old season 1 of "Six Feet Under" costs 14.99 pounds ($22 or so) from Amazon Prime Video in the UK...and it's only in SD too!

I tried the video service as part of a 30-day free Prime trial and I was deeply, deeply unimpressed with it - not enough free content as I said and a limited content range overall too. Their original content isn't as good as Netflix's either - it simply isn't a service worth purchasing and adds very little to the overall Prime package, IMHO.

Comment Client/server and tape autoloaders? (Score 2) 64

This might be fine where you've got a single Linux machine and, say, backup to an external USB3 hard drive, but what about bigger setups than this? For example, multiple Windows/Linux client machines to backup and a central server with an autoloader/barcoded Ultrium tape drive attached? There's very few open source solutions that deal with this in a heterogeneous environment (Amanda - which is poor with Windows clients - and Bacula - which is ridiculously complex to setup - are just about the only two that spring to mind). Until BorgBackup can do something similar, it's not really useful in a multi-machine/autoloader setup (no, I don't want to install two backup systems on every client...).

Comment Very expensive in UK and hard to find with Pro (Score 3, Informative) 160

The UK price of the $699 tested 256GB SSD model is unbelievably expensive in comparson - it's over 800 pounds ($1200) which is sheer madness and will kill its UK sales. Add the fact that it's very hard to find it with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed (there's another 100 pounds - $150) and this will see near-zero UK business sales.

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