* Posts by MrT

1035 posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

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Sorry, Californians, you can't have this: Asus to build WATER COOLED notebook

MrT
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Looks like Hotblack's laptop...

...what's the sound system like?

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NASA names New Horizons' next target

MrT
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It might not need any extra...

Current heliocentric speed 14.49km/s

1km/s is roughly 2237mph (data from Johns Hopkins University APL)

So, 32,424mph.

1 billion miles in 1220 or so days is 34,153mph. Depends on how close to 1 billion miles it has to travel, but delta-V for exactly 1 billin is around another 1,700mph max. At current speed it'll cover 949 million miles, which is 'nearly' enough at zero delta-V.

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The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

MrT
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Re: Awesome

That old saying reminded me of one of Sir Ken Robinson's well known presentations about creativity in education, especially the bit about the 200ft high paperclip.

There seem to be a lot of other relevant clips on The RSA's YouTube channel as well, but the SKR one popped up in my mind first.

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MrT
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Re: The human mind is amazing

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." I suspect that Newton would have liked the Internet too.

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Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data

MrT
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Boy band?

Not strictly "boy", but "Out in the Fields" could be rewritten to fit...

"Stored in the fields,

the data's just begun.

Out on the disks,

Records build one by one.

Wait! Back it up!

A thousand files could die each day.

Murphy's just a heartbeat away."

With apologies to Gary Moore and Phil Lynott, obviously

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All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

MrT
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Give it a try...

...I've only ever had one PC setup where it overclocked by default (an old AMD Athlon setup, unlocked CPU and IIRC an Abit mobo) - TBH the board didn't really understand the CPU, which should have been 100MHz FSB x18, and set it to x20 without asking, which is about +11%. It never batted an eyelid for about 5yrs or so before I needed to save space and retired it in favour of laptops.

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Biz that OK'd Edward Snowden for security clearance is fined $30m for obvious reasons

MrT
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As I see this...

...a guy from the US says what use is USIS. Ah, US, you sez you use USIS for uses to vet forces and that use is not useless vis-a-vis crises with groups like ISIS.

But now, the US says it must assess this use of assessors like USIS for assessment of assistants, and seize this role back and cease this, what's more to see fit to do this at no cost if US can assess USIS as useless.

With a huge nod to Charlie Brooker

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'Marshmallow' picked as moniker for Android 6.0

MrT
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Marshmallow kernel...

...meets Amazon Fire - don't leave it there too long, could have unwanted results.

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Feeling a physical present: Ten summer games and gadgets

MrT
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Ozobot...

...is also fun - the kids are enjoying working out how to give their Ozobot commands by using different coloured marker pens at the moment.

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MrT
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Give in early and save the stress.

I bought myself some LEGO about 30 years ago, because I liked the look of it ("Spaceship! SPACESHIP!!!") and when I went to pay the woman on the till said something like "Birthday time, eh? I love buying presents for the kids...".

Just buy it. No excuses. \m/

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DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

MrT
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GPS vs on-wheel sensor

A friend has a Garmin on his bike and, whilst the ride profile graphs are interesting, it is always putting 'corrections' in. We rode over 70 miles one day, and the height at some points was around 200' above the OS map. The correction applied was a 200' cliff/shear in the profile, with a couple of 50' drops elsewhere en route. It was also about 1.5 miles shorter over the whole trip than my on-wheel sensor. It could be that neither is right, of course, though I set mine by riding on it to measure 5 wheel revs of a mark on the rim to counter the tyre squash. Another friend rode using Strava on an iPhone and he got somewhere in between, with no cliffs. The route had about 10 miles under rain-soaked trees and we reckoned that these interfered with the signal enough to give the Garmin problems.

I've also noticed an in-car Garmin nuvi vary the current speed by 4-5mph passing bridges and other obstructions when compared with 0-2mph on a more expensive Becker unit at the same point. YMMV but in my experience with admittedly their lower-cost units, Garmin satnavs have worse reception - it may be different with their £200+ in-car units. I'd like to think all satnav devices are as good as each other, but there are differences in design that make them sensitive to positioning and orientation so the same unit can give varying results depending what's around it.

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Watch out, Tokyo! Samsung readies a 15 TERABYTE SSD

MrT
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Worth doing. We rebuilt a bunch of RM Ones a year back by gutting them and fitting new mobo, CPU, RAM and a 120GB SSD in each. Just kept the box and monitor, but did the lot for about half the cost of a full refresh - about £190 each, and not much more time to complete (maybe a day). The room went from being unbearable to usable.

I've just dropped a 1TB MX200 SSD into an old Dell laptop (unfortunately now revealed to be susceptible to the Intel CPU cockup), plus a couple of 250GBs in two Toshibas, one on AMD Turion TL60 and another on a much newer Celeron 1000M. All are much better off for the switch from spinning disks - something like 16-25 seconds to login and then another 5-10 seconds to desktop, plus noise levels near silent as the fans don't spin up that often.

Fortunately, the Micron/Crucial Storage Executive firmware upgrade tool is a joke (web application, ships with outdated version of Java) and won't run on any of them, so hopefully I'll not experience the failure by firmware update that affected the Samsung SSDs a few months back. However, just imagine having 15-16TB go west instead of something that is more easily backed up...

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Dead Steve Jobs' life and times are being turned into an OPERA

MrT
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Angel

Re: Hmmm...

It could start all jolly, like a Gilbert and Sullivan theme:-

"I am the very model of what modern venture capital

Can achieve when combined with fervour most maniacal,

I know the heads of companies, and quote ideas graphical

From my man Woz to PARC Xerox, in order categorical." etc...

It could move through the electro-pop back catalogue with a sub-theme based on Ultravox's "Vienna" (especially for the years when Gil Amelio was running Apple), then moving into Something more like Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round" (so many levels of possibility there), which moves into a reprise of "Vienna" as the health issues become apparent ("It means nothing to me..."), before switching to something that could sound like the Fast Show's "Boris ton Bastardo" opera parody, before rounding off with the Four Tops "I'll be there".

The audience can all take part via an iPhoneiPad app that will link their iDevices together (like the sort of thing that Dan Deacon does) to project a giant image of Steve/the changing Apple logo/a black turtleneck, etc across the auditorium, before "One more thing" scrolls across followed by a giant question mark to finish off.

Or nothing like that (apart from maybe the app thing)...

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All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

MrT
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The cork-pulling monkey and the elephant...

How about a rewording of the mug to "After I finish this coffee I'm going to move a 'backup' in the cloud..."?

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

MrT
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In the end...

... the update advisor tool was being a bit cautious. The old A300D is currently running Windows 10 just fine on the old December 2008 ATI driver. I had to force the update to load, and then pointed the display adapter to the Windows.old folder to find the Win7 driver. I also had to remove a small collection of utilities to stop some instability, such as Toshiba's toolkits/updaters, the ATI Catalyst stuff and, oddly, all of the Freemake media downloader/converter titles, but in the end it works nicely.

The issue with the Dell laptop was down to me ages ago setting DEP to apply only to essential Windows files and services - once I'd dug that nugget from memory and reset it to all files, the Win8.1 and Win10 upgrade advisors found that the CPU was fine. And there was me thinking it was the Dell firmware blocking the XD setting... hopefully that will be a reasonably smooth process as well, but there is a lot more legacy on that system than on the old Toshiba.

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MrT
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Essential "peripherals"...

This sort of thing will affect more than a few laptops as well. For example, I've an old Toshiba 2008 model A300D which has been upgraded over the years to 4GB RAM and a 250GB MX200 SSD, currently running Win7 Pro 64. Alongside the AMD Turion X2 CPU it has a Radeon X1200 graphics card, which ATI/AMD stopped supporting as a discrete GPU a year or two ago, but like so many laptops it's dependant on the manufacturer releasing custom graphics drivers. It's a bit like the issue with Android phones, where Google might issue a patch, but the handset manufacturer can't be bothered to rebuild their custom firmware. I've also got a Dell with add-on nVidia GPU - this is stuck at an old driver release for the same reason.

The old A300D went from 'OK' to 'Nope' in the Win10 upgrade doohickey about 2 weeks before launch day, so it won't even try to download the update. It was possible to force Win8/8.1 to run the older Win7 WMMD 1.0 drivers - not sure yet if that's still an option in Win10, but currently the graphics driver is the only thing preventing the laptop from running Win10. The Dell has just been told 'No go'... but not for the GPU - apparently the Intel T7200 CPU isn't supported...

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El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

MrT
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Excellent stuff...

... that article had me smiling. ElReg upholding the standards of boffinry, as expected.

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Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

MrT
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Memories...

Get thee to the Life Science Centre in Newcastle - the place is currently stuffed full of retro gaming gear for the Game On 2.0 exhibit (runs until 03 Jan 2016).

Can't remember everything, but did play a maze game on the ZX81, 3D Deathchase on a ZX Spectrum with a natty little CompactFlash card drive fitted to the back, and a bunch of other good things. Can't remember what the Amiga was running. Their Beeb was busted, though, just showing static on screen (blown capacitor?) :-( ...

Sorry this sounds like an advert, but I've just spent the afternoon wandering about the place with a big grin on my face.

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You can secretly snoop on someone if they butt-dial you – US judges

MrT
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Re: I see what your butt did there...

That truly will be a bum call.

OTOH, what if the voice activation was triggered by a thunderous Bronx cheer?

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What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff

MrT
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Re: The processes failed before the strut did

Reading about the Apollo 13 mission, process failure happened then as well. By all accounts, the O2 tank failure was due to a combination of the tank being dropped slightly during a test five years before the mission flew, plus the tank thermostat manufacturer not getting the memo about the shift from using 28 volts to 65 volts as part of the response to the Apollo 1 fire.

Space.com has a writeup about the incident.

Universe Today has an excellent series of articles about the incident. By curious twist of fate, the damaged vent pipe probably saved the crew from death as the tank stirring procedures had been accelerated to try to deal with the issue - it failed on the fifth stir, but whilst still in space with the lunar module docked, instead of on day 5 as scheduled, with the mission already on the lunar surface.

It seems the tank passed all tests as an item, but the combination of parts made a small bomb. The workarounds were accepted instead of triggering a concern, but then the timescale and complexity of the endeavour pushed the issue down the scale.

SpaceX is a lot smaller and responsive than the Apollo programme, and is data-rich. Some suggest bringing it all in house is a way forward, but they haven't the capacity for this. Keeping everyone communicating is more important - this rocket science thing is no place for folk to hide substandard work, for example. That they can pin down the cause is testament to SpaceX setting up systems to let them learn from every launch, not just the failures.

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Brit school software biz unchains lawyers after crappy security exposed

MrT
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Re: When I were a lad at school...

...no-one wanted to work with "Damp Pete" for any length of time, let alone long enough to do some writing...

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

MrT
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Re: Fairer system...

It sounds backwards, but start with the premise that many artists don't get paid all their royalties, plus the big labels can take upwards of 2 years between sale/play to paying the artists. This article is a few years old but explains something of what is going on.

WiReD has had older news posts about Kobalt, but the article from this month is not yet online. There was an example from Eminem's manager where he tested different payment systems on one of the rapper's songs. Each of the three writers went with a different company for payments, which should have been identical since they were for the same song. Kobalt came in far sooner, and the traditional companies were well over a year to pay. No artist can afford that delay, unless already well-off, so they will go to their company and ask for an advance on sales, maybe not realising their money is already there. The company then uses this advance to maybe secure a new contract with the artist.

It relies on lack of transparency in where the money comes from and where it is in the system. The aricle was more about how Kobalt made use of data to open up that information to artists. I'm not in the music industry so have nothing more to go on than articles and what others say (though my brother-in-law is a singer/songwriter) - it probably doesn't work that way for big names, and there may be many different ways to earn a crust, such as mentioned earlier in this thread. It just seems unfair on the artists, especially anyone trying to start out.

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MrT
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Fairer system...

... wasn't that one of the reasons Kobalt was set up? An alternative to major labels and the way Sony/Warner/etc shackle artists by holding onto royalties already earned and using 'advances' as leverage for new contracts. I hadn't heard of it until I read this month's WiReD (*ducks for cover behind the Wikipedia users*). There's no need to reinvent the streaming model, but there is a need to reduce the hold that big labels have on the business side and to make sure royalties reach the artist in something like a reasonable time. This Tidal thing might do that, but it sounds more like a pension club for people wanting another yacht.

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Apple Watch: When I think about you, I digital touch myself

MrT
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Re: Ah, The Divinyls...

Haha! Has the handle "The spectacularly refined chap" been taken? Most decent of you for asking, old sport - upvoted ;-)

On another note, not sure why my first post went down as 'AC' - I don't recall choosing that, (I don't use it), and IIRC it was originally non-AC when first posted - unless that was in memory bank 7 overnight and I've got it Asp about Thrace...

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MrT
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Re: Ah, The Divinyls...

The headline is a play on one of their song titles. The watch is less interesting... ;-)

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Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

MrT
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The musical theme continues...

... this time the headline's from the Beastie Boys - unlike the Divinyls one on the Apple Watch piece, I didn't buy any of their stuff. Same writer on Kelly Fiveash/Team Register articles of late? Good stuff, keep it up!

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WIN a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

MrT
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Rock those blocks!

HARRIS: High Altitude Reconnaissance Received by Iridium Satellites

LEADER: Last Effort At Determining Exact Requirements

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chock-A-Block

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UK's National Museum of Computing celebrates 10 glorious years

MrT
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Re: Colossus

"Two were retained by the peace-time descendant of Bletchley Park, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)... The last Colossus is believed to have stopped running in 1960." B Jack Copeland, page 2 of his introduction to the excellent book Colossus, 2006, which includes chapters by Tutte, Flowers and plenty of others who where involved. There's one reference to post-war reprogramming on p139 (attributed to Geoffrey Timms). Colossus 2 was much more flexible in that respect than Mk1, although they were all basically development machines, with the last one being different from the one built before it, and so on.

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Street Culture: Reg man's snazzy snaps of punky London go on display

MrT
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Re: What comes around goes around

Agreed - great photos; Phil Strongman has captured a mood - they're much more than just snapshots.

I like this sort of observational commentary style of photography - a friend of mine does it as a hobby (which I'm sure he finds any excuse to be away from the day job). His work is here on Flickr. I know there are plenty of folk who don't like street photography, but when it's done well it captures more than just light...

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Blood Relatives, The Tears of the Rajas and The Fifth Gospel

MrT
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Good reviews...

The first two sound well worth looking out for.

I grew up in 60s/70s Yorkshire, in old West Riding bits that flipped into North Yorkshire when the boundaries changed. After later spending a few years in Liverpool I moved back to Leeds for about a dozen years. The Ripper was a shadow over the whole region in the 70s, and the effects were still being felt into the 80s, even out into the Dales and beyond. I remember friends in Ripon whose families hailed from the North East having visits from the police to interview anyone with a Geordie-ish accent following one of the more believable hoaxes. It'll be interesting to see if Blood Relatives brings back the sense of the shift in the way people behaved as a result.

Overall, the book review column is a welcome addition to ElReg.

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Hey, Microsoft, we can call Windows 10 apps anything we like – you're NOT OUR REAL MOM

MrT
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Bill Hicks had something to say to people who work in marketing...

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Ancient SUPERNOVA EXPLOSION contains enough dust for 7,000 EARTHS, say boffins

MrT
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Re: 7000 Earths?

Is this near the Horsehead Nebula? I thought I spotted the twin suns Soulianis and Rahm in the top-left of the picture...

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

MrT
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Instead of...

...the optional third row of seats, fitment of a couple of child-sized hamster wheels and dynamos. And there are three seats in the second row that could have pedals fitted - a good backup in the old Sinclair C5.

Not possible OTA though, so it's probably just a change to the range calculations... unless it's a pop-up advisory to return to the dealer for free fitment of child-sized hamster wheels etc.

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Yay! Wearables! It's the future! Uh-oh! I'm going to be sick

MrT
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Not even a cool cycle...?

My new IoT washing machine has one of those. It can download any number of custom cycles depending on the bar code, material, colour, etc., but whenever my stuff goes in on that option it just says "No" and offers to order pricey replacements for anything labelled 'Tu', 'Matalan', or that are from shops that no longer exist, or have washed to 'old sock grey'...

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Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

MrT
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Sounds a bit extreme...

“You're listening to Taylor Swift. Would you like to try Taylor Swift next?” Her music's not that bad...

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Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

MrT
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"Ludicrous Speed"...?

It had better come with an option to finish it in plaid.

Might look silly when Intel gives the CPUs a mid-life speed bump...

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

MrT
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An 18hr day sounds like...

... all those series of 24, once the adverts were removed.

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Filthy – but sadly frothy – five door fun: Ford Focus 1.5 Zetec

MrT
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A colleague bought a Focus 1.0 3-cyl to replace her 1.6 4-cyl from only a couple of years earlier. It sounded great, but apart from the unattainable claimed mpg, her main gripe with it was the lack of traction in adverse weather (she lives high up and on a north-facing hillside). The older engine pushed the front down enough to get going, but she found the teeny 3-cyl job was too light.

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MrT
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List prices...

...are a work of fiction for bulk brands like Ford, Vauxhall, VW, etc. I've only ever bought two brand new cars - one at 28% off list and the other at 39% off. One's a rep-mobile and the other a 7-seat MPV, so in reality the price paid was just the manufacturer recognition of free-fall depreciation, otherwise they'd never shift what they build.

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MrT
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Re: Group 16?

And before the 20-group scale (plus sub-groups like those ending 'E'), everything was on a 9-group scale, with a lot of the interesting stuff 'on application'. Still, back then 150mph was the dividing line between regular car and something more specialist (Lotus Esprit, Ferrari 308, etc). Then came mildly hot hatches with no security to speak of and the insurance premiums went loopy.

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

MrT
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Smarter may not necessarily be better...

... if IoT focuses on the wrong outcome.

"One of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation creations is the NutriMatic Drink Dispenser. One of which has just provided Arthur Dent with a plastic cup filled with a liquid which is almost - but not quite - entirely unlike tea.

[NutriMatic dispenser noises]

ARTHUR:

Ah. [Takes a sip] Yeugh!! [Spits out liquid]

NARRATOR:

The way it works is very interesting. When the ‘Drink’ button is pressed it makes an instant, but highly-detailed, examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject’s brain, to see what is likely to be well received. However, no one knows quite why it does this, because it then invariably delivers a cup-full of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea."

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Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves

MrT
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Re: Tawnie Lynn (pictured)

Is that her, ahem, "professional" name?

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Super SSD tech: Fancy a bonkers 8TB all-flash PC?

MrT
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Bulky...

... that picture isn't distorted - the 8TB drive is a porker at 15mm thick, so they're aimed at 1U/2U racks etc. The more laptop-friendly 9.5mm drive tops out at 4TB capacity. And they're PCIe drives, which might thwart a few road warriors hoping to upgrade. All the blurb shows these are aimed at enterprise rather than user.

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Samsung-Microsoft deal will bundle Office 365 with Android Knox

MrT
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Pre-announcement announcement...

"We have a deal with Microsoft which will be announced in a week or so, we’ll have a big announcement, so you have a sneak preview."

an·nounce

\ə-ˈnau̇n(t)s\ verb

1: to make (something) known in a public way

This message is the announcement. What follows is the detail, more words, flash graphics and maybe a bit of a bunfight to the sound of cheers, back slapping, etc.

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Cisco offers carriers adware-as-a-service for fun and profit

MrT
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Adware-as-a-service...

... Don't let the PrivDog bite you in the AaaS.

Are companies just lining up to see what it feels like to get hit in the face with the backlash from their brand of MiTM-alike stuff??

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Ikea to start making electrified furniture. What could possibly go wrong?

MrT
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So...

... this is 'A Björn Block Accessory'. In the great way IKEA name this it'll be called something like 'Fältskog'. Or if that's too close, 'Meshuggah'...

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Thousands of UK drivers' details leaked through hole in parking ticket website

MrT
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Ah, the same "dedicated to safeguarding <Relevant_Group's> privacy" line, or very similar, that is trotted out whenever a company is found wanting, attempting to douse the flames that have been started by doing the least they could get away with or were prepared to fund. There's another examllle a bit further down the ElReg news feed.

This company is legitimising the dubious practise employed by various of their clients of charging 'fines' that some judges have stated are not lawful. Stand back and let them burn.

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Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA

MrT
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Great memories...

...thanks for sharing them. My son is mad-keen on all things NASA (with the keenness and 'just get it done' outlook of a typical 10yr-old) and will enjoy reading this too.

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

MrT
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Re: What a scary (looking) man.

Gah! Now have "Every breath you take" playing in my head...

"Every breath you take and every move you make

Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you

Every single day and every word you say

Every game you play, every night you stay, I'll be watching you"

etc...

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Solidfire offers unlimited SSD wear guarantee, punts software at market

MrT
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Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

20yr-old disks still in use? Well, none, because older servers are retired, connection technology moves on and data is a beast with an insatiable appetite. But that's not my point. There are drives available right now with 10-year warranties, but the author states of effectively unlimited warranties "This is pretty outrageous, given current assumptions and SSD warranties of up to five years."

Personally, I do still have old HDDs and stuff stored on 5.25" floppies from late 80's and very early 90's, then 3.25" disks and 100/250MB Zip disks, including the drives, but that's more down to my hoarding eccentricity than any hope of actually using them again ;-)

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