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  • There's a Mac audio bug that may have existed for more than 20 years

    paulms said:
    "Apple told users to go to the system audio settings and manually "drag the audio balance slider to the desired position." Unfortunately, that option no longer exists in macOS Sonoma."

    Really? Strange, I'm seeing that option on my M1 mini, Sonoma 14.3.1. You do need to scroll down to the bottom of the Sound settings, though...
    Depends on the output device selected - only one out of seven of my devices shows a balance control.
  • Don't try to sneak an Apple Vision Pro into Germany, the import cops will nab you

    A Vision Pro could be your personal computer, just like bringing in a laptop or an iPad. Is this only for residents of Germany, are tourists exempt?

    I found the following paragraph on VAT in the EU - it’s really for companies but individuals bringing in high value items are treated similarly. 

    For the purposes of EU VAT and customs, bringing goods into the EU for the first time, from another non-EU country, is termed an import. Generally, the country of arrival will look to charge its standard VAT rate (e.g. Germany at 19%) on the import transaction. This must be settled prior to the release of the goods from customs. The goods are then in ‘free circulation’ and may be stored and sold or sent to another EU country. 

    But if you are a tourist going through Germany to another non EU country then you would probably want a refund of the VAT, which is probably difficult if not impossible and not worth the bother on a single item. It seems likely that you just need to pay up on entry to the EU and forget about any theoretical refund when you leave.

    As a tourist It is possible to get a VAT refund on purchases made within the EU, so when The AVP is available in Germany and, for example you are USA citizen on holiday you can get your 19% back and then deal with US customs which don’t have VAT but may apply other taxes and duties which are usually less than EU VAT.

    Theoretically as a UK citizen I could go to Germany, buy my AVP get a refund of 19% when I leave and then pay 20% when I come back to the UK as whilst we are no longer in the EU we still have VAT.

    UK Travellers bringing in goods to the UK have a £390 personal allowance and exempt from paying VAT (£135 for online shopping). 

    Needless to say it's all a bit more complicated than I have suggested - many pitfalls and traps.

  • Apple Silicon M3 Pro competes with Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU in AI benchmark [u]

    ffs, just rewrite this article.  Redo the testing.  Remeasure everything.  You should be doing total energy usage for the task.  Stop citing "peak" energy usage.   It's meaningless in this context.

    Absolutely - Watts (Volts x Amps) are unless without definition eg Watt/hours. Unfortunately this will happen, as journalism is usually the rehashing of other articles without the knowledge to know if they are correct, and then made worse by us and our uninformed comments here. If I wanted to write this article I would have to do the tests myself otherwise I would not have confidence that it was right.

  • Brilliant launches plug-in Smart Home Control with Siri support

    Japhey said:
    How long is the cord? Different photos show varying lengths, indicating a cable management of some sort behind the panel. But I couldn’t find information on its actual length on either Amazon or Brilliant’s website. 
    From their website

    USB Cord (13ft)

  • Apple threatens to kill iMessage & FaceTime in UK if controversial law passes

    mayfly said:
    mayfly said:
    saarek said:
    Appleish said:
    From the country that instituted Brexit against popular opinion and had an unelected leader that was only in office for a few weeks, who destroyed hundreds of billions of pounds from their economy.
    Either you’re a revisionist or you simple don’t understand how referendums work.

    The vote for Brexit was clear, the majority of the population of the United Kingdom voted for it to happen (17.4M to leave vs 16.1M to remain).

    Yes, Scotland and, to a lesser degree Northern Ireland, voted to remain. However even nearly 40% of the Scots voted to leave which is a fact that the SNP never recognises as they pretend that all of Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

    Was it the right decision? Well, I don’t think we will truly know that for at least another 10 years. None of the  prophetic doom and gloom scenarios ever got close to materialising and the country was always going to be worse off during the initial divorce stage.

    Either way the result of the decision is largely irrelevant, what is relevant is that a democratic vote was taken and was then acted upon (albeit poorly).
    This is how democracy dies. The "democratic vote" was driven by anti-immigrant and racist factions with big megaphones stoking the fires of fear and loathing in the population to the extent that they vote against their own interests.

    Democracy is not about right or wrong - it’s what the majority vote for, no matter how stupid they may be.

    The first Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum was in 1975 , to gauge support for the country's continued membership of the European Communities (EC) 

    Yes - 17,378,581 Votes (67.23%) - No - 8,470,073 Votes (32.77%)

    So that time (1975) the people voted to stay in then in 2016 another lot of people voted out. I could argue the first lot were manipulated and deceived by fear mongering (the disaster that would occur if the UK left), but that would be unfair.

    Unfortunately this is democracy, other systems have been tried with not really any better results.

    This is NOT democracy. This is subversion of democracy in favor of extremism, nationalism and racism. And it's the the next stop on the road to authoritarianism. Which is the next stop on the road to tyranny. Which is the final stop before the end of the road: tyranny.
    I see now you are absolutely right, I thank you for your carful thought out insight.