* Posts by enerider

66 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Aug 2010


Microsoft 365 and Azure outage struck Australia and New Zealand just as business rocked up for a new week


Seems they're posting the updates on https://status.office365.com/

Card shark Intel bets with discrete graphics chips, shuffles AMD's GPU boss into the deck


Re: Wait, what? I don't understand

In short: Money.

The arrangement is likely something like this:

- AMD gets more dollars than the zero they were previously getting

- Intel get a bigger cut of the pie

- nVidia get a kick in the teeth

AdoredTV explains better than I do: https://youtu.be/mNY5e5CFlbc

Reaper IoT botnet ain't so scary, contains fewer than 20,000 drones


Obligatory Blue Oyster Cult reference

"Don't fear the Reaper"

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000


Re: 1,500,000,000 GET

Knew someone would do this - was not disappointed

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion


Re: Tough Times at Santa Clara

On Ryzen: I am one satisfied customer!

AdoredTV on YouTube has a good summary of events: the design of the Infinity fabric is to make use of the fact that smaller cores give higher yields (so you can get more chips per wafer, which means lower costs per unit, and more working cores per wafer). For example: an 8 core Ryzen is 4 units tied together, ThreadRipper will be 8 of these tied together, Epyc 16 tied together (and one rather large chip area) - but the main point is that the Zen architecture is shared up and down the line for everything - making development costs a lot easier for AMD. If this design holds up to what is asked of it: AMD can wheel out multi-core chips at a faster pace, throwing more cores in as needed.

So yes: AMD this time around appear to have a good formula, and a solid plan for the CPU division, backed by a whole lot of engineering into a fresh architecture. Hopefully they get better on the marketing.

Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land


Manjaro - easy mode Arch

Recently I jumped from Linux Mint to Manjaro - purely because I needed the newer kernel stuff (Ryzen needed kernel >= 4.10). Manjaro follows Arch in being a rolling release.

Steam out of the box, and Rocket League at 60-125 FPS using open source drivers (AMDGPU / RX480).

Did have some initial issues with the Ethernet card on the motherboard - which went away once I got connectivity via alternative means and stuffed the updates in.

Also had issues with the motherboard on-board sound: output is clear, but the input has crackle added to it (which I worked around by adding a USB sound card and using the mic port on that. I tried various audio changes, and excluded PulseAudio from the picture, but the crackle persisted with on-board input. The USB audio is completely clear).

The UI is XFCE-based and the default theme and setup I quite like.

Have lived with this setup for a few months and things are going well.

Oh, for F...acebook: WhatsApp, critics spar over alleged 'backdoor'


Let me just drop this here


For the record: these are the people who made the Signal Protocol - the messaging protocol used in Whatsapp and others.

Given Moxie has some pretty decent standing when making AND breaking things - I'd be inclined to read his opinion

Google caps punch-yourself-in-the-face malicious charger hack


Protect yourself!


Hopefully they make a USB-C version in the not-too-distant future (these people made the original "USB condom" - which later got a new name :-) )

First FreeBSD 11.0 rc lands


Recently had a play with FreeBSD 10.3 - the radeon driver seemed to spool up fine for the R9 270 I presently use.

freebsd-update handles the OS-level updates, while pkg handles the application updates.

freebsd-update upgrade -r 10.3-RELEASE <- download release upgrade bits, confirm changes

freebsd-update install <- install the kernel changes for the above, reboot, run again to install the rest of the OS updates.

The package management "pkg" utility is much like apt-get to use.

Display server is still Xorg - I don't really see that changing in a hurry.

ZFS in a VM? Beyond testing things, why would you do this? o_O (ZFS requiring gobs of RAM to run has been a ZFS thing since ever - not just limited to VMs!)

Like masochism? Run a PC? These VXers want to help you pwn yourself


Re: User malware support

My thoughts exactly!

My personal best was 1 hour the first night, followed by 1 1/2 hours the very next day.

The final half hour of the second day was getting called back and sworn at.

Quote: "You are the biggest bastard I have ever encountered!"

VM + snapshot was a handy thing (as at the time they were using TeamViewer and nuked all the files...which magically reappeared...)

...and emailed their payment gateway at the time

...and emailed their hosting provider

...and their registrar

There was a lovely HTTP error adorning their virtualitsupports.com payment site for a while

I recently had a call: "Is this <name>?" "Yes?" *CLICK*

...they cut themselves off!

Yahoo! crypto! queen! turns! security! code! into! evil! tracker!


Looks like RequestPolicy throws it a curve-ball as well

Since it looked like everything that was being checked got dumped into the "sites you've probably visited" column

Borg blacklist assimilates Cryptolocker domain name generators


Possible unintentional side-effect of the VM detection

Running stuff in a VM on purpose, so when net nasties drop in to say "hello" on the VM, they detect the VM and decide to bow out?

Although if they *do* happen to go nuclear and nuke everything in the VM, you'd be able to roll back to a snapshot / backup (assuming these are set up of course).

There is also the chance that the nasty can bust it's way out of the VM onto the actual machine and wreak havoc there...


Industrial Wi-Fi kit has hard-coded credentials


Re: Mandatory step missed in the final line

A great plan! Although I'd prefer the more BOFHly method where after the items are accidentally set on fire and put in the bin, the person responsible for buying them also accidentally goes on fire and goes into the bin...


Mandatory step missed in the final line

"Or, perhaps, unplugged, replaced, and dropped in the skip."

Between "unplugged" and "replaced" needs an "accidentally set on fire". </BOFH>

NASA wants you to help space mining corp strip mine the Solar System


Paging PTMC, where is my Pyro GX?

Because we already know where off-planet robot mining leads, right Descent fans? :-)

FREAKing hell: ALL Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop


Re: A different Freak?

try https://cve.freakattack.com

If it loads without error - you're vulnerable.

YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?


As a PC game-playing individual: have not needed Windows for months now

Currently running Linux Mint 17 (have not yet gone to 17.1), but a lot of the previous comments echo here e.g. plug in printer, printer gets found and works.

I use PlayOnLinux (a handy WINE wrapper) to handle my library of games on my machine. I have been playing MechWarrior Online quite successfully inside a WINE 64 bit prefix after getting .NET 4.0 installed, more so now that PGI finally got a 64 bit client out the door (also Community warfare looks great).

For the inevitable LAN game weekends my friends partake in, CoD4 works, The Ship works, StarCraft works, Battlefield Vietnam works better than what it does under Windows versions post-XP (for example, the in-game music blaring from the vehicles works without resorting to various Compatibility mode tricks. "Surfin' Bird" never loses its appeal while hurtling into a mob of bots). Enemy Territory: Quake Wars works (used WINE for this because the native installer refused to work. Didn't seem to slow the game any.), as do all the Quakes (WINE not needed), and UT (WINE used because I'm lazy).

One lovely part about all this: All the games have their own personal registry to mess with as much as they want. If they somehow stuff their own registry, it doesn't affect any of the other games (or OS as a whole). Uninstallation of games is a breeze, they simply get deleted. No meddling with uninstallers or registry cleaners.

Ad-borne Cryptowall ransomware is set to claim FRESH VICTIMS


Re: VM for fun and profit?

Fair point - hypervisor exploits are a definite attack vector.

So do you rotate hypervisors as well?

Or do you BSD and simply jail a few things? :-)

It's always a race of attackers and defenders, and that part isn't likely to change any time soon.


VM for fun and profit?

Easiest solution I could think of would be to have a VM to use for web browsing.

The choice of OS in the VM won't matter too much doing things this way - even if there is a disk space cost. But the disk space cost I think is minimal, as it doesn't really need backed up. If the VM gets malware'd to oblivion, you can simply nuke it and start fresh.

Better yet, have it snapshotted then revert to the snapshot when you're done. Snapshots could also be done following updates, patches, etc.

A small, ready-to-roll distibution like Damn Small Linux would be ideal for this kind of thing - less patching to worry about and fresh versions of the OS are a ~50MB download for the entire thing. Also snapshots would not really be needed - just boot from the ISO in the VM.

No nudity, please, we're GAMING: Twitch asks players to cover up


Makes sense to me

Especially if you're there to watch one team of Mechs tear through the other lot, or watch as GassyMexican and friends do things as per usual. (although his drunk-casts might be getting trimmed as a result)

There are already plenty of other sites devoted to streaming all the hues of flesh, Twitch need not be one of them being a gaming-devoted site. :-)

Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now

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The sentence starting with "Rather, we understand..."...

...was read with gritted teeth.

The rest of it was met with chuckles.

Nicely done.

Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS


Re: Defeats the whole purpose....

Yeah Toast!

Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9


Windows 8.1 Pro...I used it

I wasn't hating it either - everything seemed to work.

Then one of my hard drives needed replacing. Which I did, and the PC rebooted fine and loaded Windows fine.

Then the very next reboot: POOF! Boot sector ninja vanished.

At that juncture, I took a FUKITOL and installed Debian, which worked without much hassel.

After this, I decided to give Mint 17 a go. So far I survived a LAN gaming weekend without any real issues. PlayOnLinux let me play: ET:QW (tried the native installer, it wouldn't work, even with ia-32 libs in place. So I installed it under PlayOnLinux.), COD4, BF:Vietnam, StarCraft Broodwar, The Ship.

I still am making using of my Windows 8 licence though. It now lives in a VM under Mint 17. Mainly for my amusement.

Credit card cutting flaw could have killed EVERY AD on Twitter


I could be wrong...

...but I'm thinking this is to do with the advertising agencies' ability to buy advertising spaces on Twitter?

The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?


Was running Windows 8.1 Pro - until it ate the bootloader one day

...since then I've been running under Debian.

I have Steam for Linux installed and running, which does exclude some titles.

I also have Steam running under PlayOnLinux - which covered the other games in my Steam library.

I even have MechWarrior Online running in a PlayOnLinux instance. (Current bug preventing the installer from running however - CryEngine game itself works fine)

So far, I'm not really missing anything. Steam under PlayOnLinux runs The Ship quite happily once you turn off the Steam Community thing, for example.

AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up


Re: What app to use?

I had a read of the slides, and agree wholeheartedly.

Although I'm not sure if chucking the AV off a system is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I'm rather perplexed by the relative lack of security-minded programming in what is sold as a security product.

Some method of sandboxing really is required.

ESET and Malwarebytes were my usual toolkit for rooting out infections on Windows machines, with MSE being the backstop for those who didn't feel like shelling out for an AV. After that point, CCleaner and Defraggler were used to get rid of any toolbars and other cruft that could bog down a system.

For ESET the slides would seem to indicate failings in the engine which were promptly fixed once discovered.

Not using Windows myself at home, but I am using my ESET licence for the remainder of its life. :-)

Corruption cops warn on old-school project management


Your "Corrpution" is corrupt


British boffin muzzled after cracking car codes


Re: enerider @enerider (was: Now ask me why ...)

A good idea that too - which is why I enjoyed owning a Swift GTI or two as the only computer onboard was there for the fuel injection and nothing more! (which made diagnosis a relatively straightforward process as well)

Everything else was manual, mechanical, and therefore easy enough to fix myself - a big plus when you were a student living on whatever the fast food job could provide.


Re: @enerider (was: Now ask me why ...)

"Mine start first crank, every time, regardless of weather. But then, I'm a wrench."

My cars start first crank every time, unless the Mrs accidentally leaves the inside light on in the car all night and the battery has gone dead. Being mechanically able or not has little bearing on this. Mechanical ability comes into play when things *don't* work first time - which is the point where you fix it yourself or someone you know who knows how to fix it gets involved.

The hard starting scenario I was painting is a classic example when it is somewhere below zero, and the dual carbs have decided that they'd rather not haul in fuel just now, which was the case for a friends TE71 Corolla using the 2T DOHC. This issue was solved when the carbs were hauled out and heaved into the abyss and replaced with fuel injection, which also provided a performance boost into the bargain. (The 2T then achieving the designation 2T-GEU in Toyota parlance).

The "Start Ya Bastard" part of that was a prime example of when attempting to start the lawnmower after the 50th pull and getting nowhere fast, as many lawnmower owners will attest to, especially when you've got better things to do than take apart the lawnmower to figure out what isn't working.

I get the "RPM" versus "RPMs" nitpick, but you got exactly what I meant, right?

Somehow you seem to think the circuitry in the ECU is going to decide that it won't take commands from you anymore and go on holiday without warning. Don't like what the electronic box of tricks from the manufacturer is doing? Then haul it out and find yourself a Megasquirt or other replacement EFI option.

They are out there, and will happily take commands and adjustments from you to the letter. You can even adjust the figures and fine-tune it while driving! (by having someone in the passenger seat performing the adjustment via the serial cable, or having someone you know drive the vehicle while you perform the adjustments.) You can't do this with a carb. (unless you've got some manual knobs and switches to perform tiny adjustments from the drivers' seat)

"No. Just no. The entire "Firefly", "Metro" et alia were atrocious."

Oh good. Clearly they're too reliable / cheap to fix / cheap to run / simple as a bag of spanners for you.

The Swift GTI was a good little pocket rocket and is still used in various levels of motorsport internationally including rallying, and is often used by racers who motorsport on a shoestring budget. The engines are not huge or heavy, and are not complicated to take apart and put together with the inside parts being clearly labelled as to what direction and order to assemble them in (which made learning how engines work a whole lot easier).

"My point is that I AM in control of the mechanical systems of my vehicles. And I intend to keep it that way."

As has been probably pointed out to you before I did, you can always haul out the manufacturer-provided options for one of your own that you can control to your hearts' content. The circuitry is no more self-aware than a lightswitch is. The ECU will do stupid shit if it is told to do stupid shit. Tune a carb wrong and it won't work correctly and there is no difference in this regard with an ECU - the difference is simply in the "how" you tune it. The ECU can be as "stupid" or as "smart" as you wish it to be. Avoiding ECUs altogether just appears to be the result of some irrational fear of circuit boards.


Re: Now ask me why ...

I prefer the easier starting on cold mornings rather than endless amounts of cranking and then dumping half a can of "Start Ya Bastard" into the carb just to get something to happen in the cylinders.

The late '80s ECUs were not all that intelligent, a prime example being the fuel injection system on the Suzuki Swift GTI which is affectionately known as having all the brains of "a retarded gopher".

The inputs were: Mass Air Flow sensor (hotwire type), throttle position sensor, RPM.

The sum total of it's function? While the throttle was not heavily stomped on, the RPMs were below 4500, it would watch the resistance level of the hot wire to determine how much air the engine was inhaling and then fire alternate pairs of injectors - where it would just sip away at the fuel. If you booted the throttle it would open all the injectors to dump some more fuel in. If the RPMs went over 4500 with your foot down, then all injectors open and pour in the fuel! (with resulting throaty DOHC noises under the bonnet and a subsequent hoist in speed).

My point is: refusing things that happen to have a small amount of circuitry in them to control some motor functions with a higher level of precision than what is capable mechanically because you're afraid you won't be in control seems a little extreme.

I agree with not being in favour of systems that wrest control from the driver in circumstances where the car thinks "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!" and immediately activates (what it thinks) are life-saving manouvres. Thus why I liked the older Swift GTI: It was mechanical aside from the fuel system. No power steering, just rack and pinion. No ABS, you just had brakes that did their job unreservedly. Manual transmission (with a first gear to second gear step that was overly large by most accounts). It wasn't perfect by any stretch, but it was simple to fix when things broke as things tend to do when they get old and can't handle the (ab)use.

Apple's Tim Cook: I'm risking my own MEELLLIONS if we sink

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Re: Jobs an Innovator?

Sir, for the excellent Epic Rap Battles of History reference, have another upvote. I'm assuming the downvoters have not yet seen the excellence in that particular Youtube video.

SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix


Oh you gotta be kidding....



SCO - die quietly already. It is beyond over. Let it go.

Microsoft parades Windows 8.1, the version you may actually want


As a person who got the Win8 Pro upgrade when it was going cheap...

... I am glad I did.

I'm not using any touch interface, I have a mouse, monitor, keyboard and a handy little mITX PC I've put together. Z77 chipset and i5 3470 to match - and things are notably snappier when I switched from Windows 7 to Windows 8 on the same hardware.

I will admit initial frustration with finding where things got moved to from Windows 7 - but most anything I can find now by mashing the Windows key on the keyboard and typing a few characters.

I will make this plain and simple: I like playing games with my friends. One of these is MechWarrior Online.

I havn't yet tried running it in a WINE instance, but I suspect it probably wouldn't work all that well - CryEngine 3 being the beast that it is.

In times past I have used (in no particular order): FreeBSD, Slackware, OpenSuSe, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandrake, Red Hat, Fedora, Linux Mint. When I was giving gaming under a Linux-kernelled OS a good thrash, there were inevitable roadblocks. At the time, Quake Wars: Enemy Territory was a reasonably newish game (with native linux installer).

The fun parts were the games from iD: All the Quakes and Dooms had native installers or ports. UT2004 also had a native installer. These all worked flawlessly.

Then you get to some of the other titles we usually like to thrash out on a gaming weekend, things like Call of Duty, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade among others. In these cases , WINE support was not quite up to snuff *at the time* (Single player often worked, but if you're trying to LAN game, single player is not enough). Starcraft worked fine. Red Alert 2 not so much.

I can't remember what tricks I pulled, but I was playing BF1942 online reasonably well in WINE - even if PunkBuster didn't like it and would boot me off every so often. A patch was even added to WINE which corrected issues when trying to look around in a fullscreen game (the fix basically recentered the mouse cursor after every detected mouse movement - so you didn't have the issue where you would be able to turn so far and no further).

I went to a LAN with my setup and my 9800XT finally had enough of the torture and decided to suicide - which was replaced with a spare nVidia card that was available at the time. With no Internet connectivity, I was sunk for trying to get the Linux nVidia drivers to make things go again (since the ATI was using FGLRX obviously). So ended up defaulting to Windows XP at the time out of necessity (thank goodness for dual boot) - since someone else had nVidia drivers available on the network.

I havn't tried gaming under a *nix system for some time since then - seeing as Windows 7 did everything that was asked of it until I recently went with Win8 Pro. Windows 8 from my view has carried on nicely - with my graphics card and everything working off the bat.

So it hasn't been for the want of trying - I've given gaming a solid go under Linux, but using Windows just saved so much frustration. But that isn't to say I won't try again sometime soon - first I need a new hard drive that isn't old and tired which I can then partition and dual boot from - and I'll either go Debian or Slackware.

Hey, Teflon Ballmer. Look, isn't it time? You know, time to quit?


Re: Nothing wrong with Windows 8.

I have to agree here - so far Win8 Pro has been solid and dependable. The omission of the Start menu has changed nothing in terms of use on the home front.

Driver support has at least picked up now - initially with a Z77E-ITX Asrock mobo and other misc bits to match, driver support was a little dodgy at times (although that said, 64 bit Windows 7 drivers worked fine). Since doing a reinstall (my old OS drive finally packed up after many years use), everything worked out of the box.

For us - we viewed it as a cheap upgrade option and have not been let down with the NZ$50 spend in order to get it. (Yes, we did take the early upgrade cheap option).

First, the bad news: EA bags Star Wars games rights


Re: Battlefield 3/4 - Star Wars ???

See BF1942 and Galactic Conquest Mod :-)

Was buggy at times, but some fun could be had :D

Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger


Re: It's worse than you think.

Have an upvote as I personally know someone in the same boat as you - although this was admittedly less of a problem for him since he was meddling in Gentoo and doing related coding work.

HOT SWEATY RACKS blamed for Outlook.com, Hotmail MELTDOWN


Hotmail was offline?

I had not even noticed - although my Hotmail inbox is quiet 98% of the time anyway

So much noise on WinMob, but Microsoft's silent on lovely WinPhone


Re: I'm not suprised

Seconded Neil B

Myself and my wife both have HTC Trophy phones. Not the biggest, newest or shiniest but definitely work well in all regards that we use them for - which is usually texting or the Mrs sending me pictures of the children doing something (usually hilarious).

Wife discovered the calendar functions yesterday - so the calendar on my phone is going to get a solid hammering in the near future (with things like Kindergarten lunches and the like...)

Although I do have to say that one of the OS updates seemingly broke the true heading API call for the compass. "Raw Compass Data" showed the compass itself was still functioning perfectly, but the true heading value was very out (North became West) which appears to be an Integer wraparound issue of some description.

Also - don't feed the trolls. Hit them with a shovel instead.

Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link


Re: Games 'n guns link?

Thank you for the MechWarrior Online reference! (Or as I prefer to call it, Stompy Robots)

India's tough hacker crackdown: IT security leaflets with every device


Re: Bah!

Already had these chumps many moons ago - and me and my friends made it our mission to hold them on the phone for as long as humanly possible!

It was amazing - they'd get incredibly irate and abusive after a while - only to get even more frustrated when they discovered they were in a virtual machine with very few options of recourse. "Don't piss me off, I'll crash your computer!" "AHAHAHAHAHA Good luck with that buddy" *click*

Then they'd keep autodialling our number. I think my number eventually got blacklisted by them - but at times we'd get dialled and I'd answer - ready to troll them some more - only to discover their call had mysteriously dropped the moment I answered! I thank 2talk for this probably unintentional benefit when I decided to port the phone number to their VoIP service.

OS/2 a quarter century on: Why IBM lost out and how Microsoft won


Re: OS/2 was wrong product for the time!

Er, what?

"Windows XP will run on a 300 MHZ system with 128MB ram, whereas the latest Linux distros require at least 700 MHZ and 256 MB ram. Whats worse the latest Linux distros still cant match Windows XP for features."

So the *latest* Linux distributions require more horsepower to run versus an 11 year old OS on 11 year old hardware?

You do realise the apples to oranges comparison being applied here, right?

Sure Windows XP will run on a 300MHz system with 128MB of RAM - if you added no service packs or demanding applications. Otherwise it quickly becomes an epic pagefile thrashing of the hard drive to Alt + Tab.

It ran horribly slowly after 3 Service packs and numerous updates later on any amount of RAM less than 512MB (service packs adding abilities to see larger hard drives for one thing). 1GB of RAM was regarded as the "sweet spot" for running XP initially - later having 2GB was not uncommon as applications demanded more breathing room.

As for features - what features are specifically missing?

Global action takes down tech support scam


"Error - the command completed successfully"

I already had my tussels with these idiots.

Strung them along as had others, even running the whole gambit through a handy VM I set up while on the call "Oh my PC BSOD'd hang on...",

Ever since I moved to a VoIP provider (still the same number), I not only get caller ID and a bunch of other stuff cheaper - the calls never quite seem to connect. I answer, but there is a long silence and then a hang up.

Meanwhile the calls that matter get through just fine.

So to whomever at 2Talk - I thank you for your fine filtering of scumbags and endorse your product as a contented user.

Teachers get earful of racy XXX chat in Capita IT cock-up


And a TBOFH gets his wings...

Was my first thought about the title!

Other n that - large multinational in outdated technology SNAFU.

Pour me another one, would you?

New questions raised over Kim Dotcom snooping


If they spy this well...

...then that would come as a great relief!

There is a fair bit of agreement that Key's memory lapses need to get seen to, by medical or "other" means.

Minor note: Labour is spelt with a "u" - because we're not USA. The hint of our British heritage is in the flag.

Beer because it's Friday in this neck of the woods.

The world's first Windows Phone 8 hands on – what's it like?


Re: Disappointing

My sarcasm detector exploded and then imploded violently. I am currently holding onto the wall until things stop disappearing into the unknown.

I think the "laggy" often disappears with a good old-fashioned nuking of the vendor-supplied stuff.

Similar to how nuking the vendor-supplied Windows install with a completely fresh, unadulterated copy of Windows often yields better results than the factory image. (Often included is a copy of something from Symantec, with the just-as-often removal of which yielding substantial speed boosts).

I think a Verity Stob article on "cruft" explains the situation quite well.

The Register is rocking on Windows Phone 7


Downloaded here too - will make getting the lastest information on the run easier! Thanks El Reg!

LG: We're not walking away from Windows Phone


Re: Lets keep this in perspective

I'm not exactly sure why you got all the downvotes, seemed like a fairly balanced view there.

I too have an HTC Trophy (currently my time filler on it is a NES emulator, otherwise I mainly use it for listening to music while working. Otherwise, all data, GPS, 3G, WiFi options are switched off and I use it as a phone).

I'm not overly concerned about the Zune front, I only really use the Zune software to add/remove music to the thing.

Although if I really wanted a phone with everything and the kitchen sink, I'd look more to an ARM-something board and attach a touchscreen to that. Mini-box.com (no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, thanks for your concern) has some kits available, which have Android and Angstrom available for them, as well as 4.3 or 7 inch touchscreen options which you can slap straight on.

Although I'm more looking at their extremely tiny DC-DC power supplies for an ITX build I have planned - especially when ASUS release their beastly little mITX board with the VRM riser card. :D http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77I_DELUXE/

Sure the motherboard will be dwarfed by the graphics card, but I don't really need anything beyond what is provided on the board itself - results in a much more LAN party-able desktop with built in battery backup! (useful for those moments when someone daisy-chains one too many PCs and pops the overload, or trips on a cord and you're *just* about to send your swarm of zerglings hurtling into the base just to the left of you, or were just about to give that camping sniper that you've carefully crept up on a good old dose of knife).

Anyways, if I really wanted to get absolute customisation into my mobile communicator, I'll attempt building my own. Just because.

UK retailers start taking Nokia Lumia 900 orders


I've said it before, I'll say it again...

Currently own an HTC Trophy (which does everything I ask of it - including some oldschool NES gaming when boredom and rain prevent me from attacking the car in the shed) and I'll consider buying a Lumia 800 (or newer) for the following reasons:

1) Decent GPS maps (maps are downloaded once to the phone and stay there - no vampiring of the mobile data) with Navigation thrown in for free.

HTC recently released a free GPS maps application in which you could download a full set of maps and came with voice navigation - which came as a pleasant surprise until I was informed that HTC hid the fact you need to buy the navigation portion after the free 30 day trial for the navigation portion expires (you have to dig through the menus in the application to spot this fact - otherwise I was blissfully unaware of that snare).

Nokia (being the owners of Navteq - who in turn provide everyone else with their maps and navigation) offer this service for free. Not to be sneezed at when attempting to visit unknown territories (as well as saving a yearly fee).

2) If I get a Nokia - I can make better use of the bluetooth handsfree kit that came with my car.

Given that NZ road rules have the ability to ticket you for more dollars than I'm willing to pay for driving with a cellphone to your ear, the handsfree kit is essential for avoiding fines. Ignoring the phone while driving is my usual stance on the matter, but handsfree has proven useful on more than one occassion - especially when on call and something needs my immediate attention.

3) Compared side-by-side running Mango on a Lumia 800 vs. my current HTC Trophy, there is a visible speed improvement when using the Lumia. This is not really an important point to me, but is still one worth mentioning for those to whom speed matters.

I've got nothing much against the HTC I currently own (current GPS navigation grudge excepted), but the Lumia is a better fit to what I'd like in my portable wallet vampire. :-)

Hong Kong scientists claim 'self-charging' graphene battery


Re: There is no Maxwell Daemon

True, the potential difference in the charge from the upper atmosphere versus the ground. Basically we're living on a giant capacitor.

However, if the definition of ambient holds true: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ambient, then it is still ambient, as we are completely surrounded by the electrical potential difference between that which is above and below us.


Collecting ambient energy has been possible for over a century.

Take a metal sheet, some wire and a capacitor.

Suspend metal sheet so it isn't grounded (the higher from the ground the better), attach a wire and hook up one end of the capacitor. Attach a wire to the other end of the capacitor and plant the wire into the ground.

Grab your multimeter, measure the voltage across the capacitor. Note your figure. Come back in 15 minutes and repeat. What is the voltage now?

A little something Tesla patented way back when. http://www.google.com/patents/US685957

The only issue is converting this stored energy into a form which is usable - that's the tricky part!