* Posts by MrT

1170 posts • joined 9 Oct 2007

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Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians

MrT
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Re: Hoodies playing chicken...?

Citations? It was from when the web was a baby, well over 20 years ago in the early 90's so web footprints will be tiny at best. Yorkshire Evening Post covered it though, including the story about the elderly couple. The crossing was on Chapeltown Road at the end of Harehills Avenue, coincidentally not far from the park where Sutcliffe left one of his victims. It had been an interesting place for years before, and I used to regularly drive down that route in the 80's on the way to LCB and the Poly.

I used to live over in Oakwood, had a few friends in West Yorkshire Police, and worked for one branch of the city council. Hyde Park was also a hotspot for that kind of thing, including one incident where my wife's boss, who was relieved in '97/'98 of his car, wallet and cash from an ATM as he stopped to go to the bank - forced at knifepoint to drive his own car well outside the city before he was dumped out as the thieves made off.

It's been an interesting life.

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MrT
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Re: Hoodies playing chicken...?

You are quite right - by the time I realised the typo, the edit window had closed. For some reason, Deathchase was in the swype autocorrect...

Was the movie one of Stallone's best roles? Was the hospital scene just comedy? Was it just a watermelon that got driven over because the SFX budget was blown sticking spikes on a Ferrari?

The modern version ruined it... ;-)

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MrT
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Hoodies playing chicken...?

There was one Zebra crossing in the Chapeltown area of Leeds where car-jacking was common (typically of cars with single young and/or female drivers, but I recall one report involving an elderly couple). One guy would walk out on the crossing in front, then the least done was bags from passenger seats nicked through an open window or by opening the passenger door, but the one with the elderly couple was where two guys jumped in the back seats when the car stopped, forced the driver down a side road before ejecting driver and passenger out of the car and making off with it. In other countries the outcome might be more lethal.

It wasn't the only place that this sort of thing happened, and part of the the response was to adapt the tech that created the situation. Drive-off auto-locking became popular in cars that had central locking fitted, and the Chapeltown crossing was altered to a Pelican one that changed the priorities. However, if self-driving cars are set to automatically stop for pedestrians straying in front of them, then any suitable spot could become that Zebra crossing.

Obviously we can't have cars just mowing down peds all the time and never stopping - some places might be bad, but it's not quite got to the original Deathchase 2000 - so what's the tech response? Especially in cars like the Merc F 015 concept and the Google pod where the driver is the car.

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I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

MrT
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Re: so the best candidates for a flight to Mars

ESA is one step ahead of you there - they've just successfully tested a suitable landing procedure...

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MrT
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Re: Bah!

They both need a rethink - NASA likes nice acronyms, but SPAS-ASCL and SPAH-RAWG sound more like parts codes for a drinks dispenser. The key thing is that the acronym makes more sense as an acronym than as the full title, which normally ends up with random words added to make the acronym work. Something like Stevie's Patented Injury-Neutralising Astronaut Lifesuit - Terrestrial Acclimatising Polyamide...

Still, as far as past references, at least there's the Atomic Wedgie, which has the added bonus word 'Atomic' in it, and could easily be made in a UFO-spec purple/silver foil combo. And maybe spinning somone around in that will help their spine, although could also hinder other aspects of their anatomy.

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Outlook-on-Android alternative 'Nine' leaked Exchange Server creds

MrT
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Re: Terrible

I bought Nine earlier this year when Google knacked up the Exchange Services doohickey in Android 6, binning the phone contacts and stopping that well-know third-party email app 'Gmail' from collecting Outlook365 mail. The handset goes on WiFi at work or at home, everywhere else is on 4G (no coffeshops). It is the best mobile email client I've used - the developer seems responsive, the new calendar widget works well, and there's just the Gmail access which Google blocked a while back which stops me merging everything into it.

It might not be the best choice out there, but I don't often pay for apps like that - it impressed me enough to shell out the $9.99 back when that still meant about £6.50 ;-)

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Bloke gets six years in slammer after fessing up to £4.75m tax scam

MrT
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Wow, Six years...?

Shows where "the system" has its values. It's a fair wedge, admittedly, but it's not as if this guy ran a couple of 'virtual presence' mail forwarding addresses in posh bits of London, run by shell companies in various trading partners names, each buying off the other, charging real people for the privilege, yet hiding in another barely related address well away from things, and then running a copyright trolling business on the side that caused very real distress to ordinary people by demanding money with spurious threats of legal action, before stamping on an innocent Uber driver's face in a drunken rage outside an exclusive members-only club that had refused him entry, and then only getting 20 measly weeks in clink, whilst crying on about how that would ruin his life and all those that worked for him.

Money before people. Yeah, swapping those sentences over would seem more like justice.

...

</Rant>

Erm, it's a bit high on this horse - can anyone give me a hand down...?

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How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering

MrT
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Re: Unless...

... the AI reaches Transcendence. And looks like Johnny Depp.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

MrT
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Re: Sounds like a complete prick

"This will destroy my life, I am the director of a company and everyone would lose their jobs. We have 1,000 clients, we have staff all around the country, and it would die." Robert Croucher, MD

Sir, you are certainly a shining wit...

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iPhone 7's Qualcomm, Intel soap opera dumps a carrier lock-out on us

MrT
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"Mark Hung, a Gartner research veep..."

Ah, the importance of punctuation. At first glance it looked like Garner's HR department had instigated a new way of letting staff go. Either that, or the revolution had arrived and marketing was next in line...

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Luxe cable crimper

MrT
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The Gillette moment...

If they can develop a system that simplifies the more fiddly job of wiring up the sockets (wall mount, patch panels, etc.), once that's been learnt, the simpler job of wiring the plugs might as well follow the same method. I'm not sure it would win the other way round.

Overall, it looks a neat solution. However, it's another set of connectors in each end of the cable. Something else to check if there's a signal dropout...

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Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

MrT
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"New Armstrong"...

... that's stretching things...

...

After all, he first flew as an astronaut around 4 years after John Glenn.

Bezos may save that moniker for his first off-planet landing and return though. Or if he can get a flying bedstead into orbit.

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Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

MrT
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"the overnight burglar alarm"

Must. Stop. Scan reading.

At first glance, I thought it very clever that the gym would have an overweight burglar alarm... "Your BMI is in excess of 30. Please do a five minute warm-up on the exercise cycles before attempting to steal the exercise cycles..."

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ABBA-solutely crapulous! Swedish router-maker won't patch gaping hole

MrT
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Re: As a Muppet fan...

"Where de checkin'...?"

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Paint your wagon (with electric circuits) but leave my crotch alone

MrT
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"Murse!"

Do you carry any other items of, erm, 'baggage' in the same pocket? That's what used to turn my phones off (or at times reboot them), with things pressing/holding down the power button. Solution was to put the phone in the other way up so the button was away from any protrusions or interference. Picking the pocket on the side away from the one you dress may remove another possibility, unless you are Longrod von Hugendong and can, for example, disable the security grid at the Rock'n'Roll History Museum without using your hands...

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MrT
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I remember using something similar in the 80's, though it was more like a Tippex bottle in application, rather than a pen - very useful for repairing heated rear screen elements that have been damaged when removing carelessly placed garage advert stickers, for example.

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How much does your kid hate exams? This lad hacked his government to skip them

MrT
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"I asked for a car...

...I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?"

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

MrT
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Re: Let's do a generator test..

"I would assume backup generators should be fueled and ready to go at any time."

Have you never seen The Dish... ;-)

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

MrT
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Tesla limits the power draw of the P90D because the motors are capable of pulling more than the battery can provide. If the battery can provide 10KWh more then they can can set a new higher upper limit on the effective combined front/rear motor power with the P100D upgrade. I've linked a source from Tesla in a comment further up here.

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MrT
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Re: Units, not numbers

Also, Tesla used to use Motor Trend to verify acceleration, and may still do so, which means the quoted 0-100kph time would be about the same as the actual stationary-60mph time:

"...the Motor Trend standard excludes the first 28 cm of rollout. Including this rollout adds approximately 0.2 seconds to the acceleration."

Tesla All Wheel Drive (Dual Motor) Power and Torque Specifications

JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer, September 21, 2015

OTOH I've seen a Model X P90D Ludicrous outdrag a Challenger SRT Hellcat from stationary, but also an Audi RS6 flip that result from a 5mph rolling start. Real-world experiences with the new battery pack will no doubt mean that very few cars will keep up, even if the ultimate acceleration [*] isn't always available because of things like the battery being lower than a certain capacity (I heard this was 70%), or that it hasn't been pre-warmed as part of the car's internal preparation when activating Ludicrous mode...

[*] The limit on acceleration on the Tesla is down to a few things, such as adjusting the max power sent through the front motor to prevent wheelspin as the car bias shifts rearwards during sudden acceleration, and the max current draw from the battery. From the same link above: "With the shaft horsepower coming out of the motors the situation is not always as simple as front + rear. As we have pushed the combined motor horsepower higher and higher, the amount of times where the battery chemical horsepower is lower than the combined motor horsepower has increased." Tesla have improved the battery, so seem to have raised (if not yet removed) one of the limits on the maximum amount of energy they can pour through the motors.

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'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

MrT
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Re: Cool

Sooooo... it's a chip that's capable of creating an emotional and physical response in a user. Looking to see if there wasn't a Dr Noonian Soong involved in its development - one small patch of skin on my arm has goosebumps in anticipation.

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I got the power – over your IoT power-point

MrT
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Where's the PowerPoint?

We heard that you like power points, so we made a PowerPoint giving you all the information about our smart power points so you could give all your information away as you use the power point to power a projector projecting our PowerPoint.

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Beauty site lets anyone read customers' personal information

MrT
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What they need to do...

... is follow the accepted beauty industry practice, invent a trademarkable pseudonym for this dropped bollock, then hire some D-list slebs to slowly explain why it's a good thing to each other, (if it includes at least one who happens to have released an exercise video, all the better). Smiles all round, bouncy hair and whitened teeth. Problem solved!

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Air gap breached by disk drive noise

MrT
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Floppy disk orchestra...

... I read recently about a 64-disk setup playing the Star Wars Imperial March, but this 8-disk version is pretty good...

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The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

MrT
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Re: Do you even lift?

Buying a fitness tracker and expecting dramatic changes just because it's there did remind me of this story from The Daily Mash back in springtime this year...

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

MrT
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"...taking it out to a lonely field at dawn and kicking the shit out of it..."

Love the Office Space reference \m/... Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

MrT
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Red Flag...

... Nellis AFB commander reportedly had a photo of a large curved trench in the desert floor, taken after one of the contests in which the RAF took part. When asked, he said it was left by the wingtip of a Vulcan as it manoeuvred at extreme low level. Another Vulcan landed with cable fouling the tail, snagged as the plane flew under power or telegraph lines - at the time it the snagging, the plane was going up. A further example of the RAF pilots' flying skills was when one Vulcan flew in as a cover for two Buccaneers (Operation Skyshield IIRC, simulated attacks against the US eastern seaboard) - one radar blip became three as the two smaller planes broke cover from under the Vulcan's shadow. The way the RAF flew their 4-engined plane when it first attended the contest was such that one US pilot commented that he liked the new fighter jet, but he thought it a bit big, not realising that it could haul 21,000 lbs of bombs.

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Bought a GTX 970? Congrats, Nvidia owes you thirty bucks

MrT
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Nvidia have been there before...

About 9 years ago they fobbed a load of suspect GPUs off onto the likes of Dell and HP, which variously failed over time. The poor manufacturing process meant that it was highly likely that the parts would fail, and that Nvidia knew that this was the case when they sold them. This went to a class action in the US and instead of having to hide behind megacorps' warranty systems Nvidia had to replace them or refund anyone who had bought a replacement (IIRC on that last point).

My own UK Dell E1705/Inspiron 9400 had one fitted (GeForce Go 9700GS GPU) that went pop after about 4.5 years of use in exactly the same way as shown in the class action cases. Dell agreed, sent a tech around to my house to replace it FoC, fitting a slightly upgraded part, so even outside of the US the fact it's gone to CA can be used. The laptop is still in daily use today.

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Generous Fiat Chrysler offers $1,500 for car security bugs – or two minutes of annual profit

MrT
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Re: Daewoo

It'll start a trend for anonymous submissions, or even submitting in someone else's name... A shiny, hardly used Matiz sitting there whilst a bunch of bug-hunters all point at each other saying "No, really, it was him/her".

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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

MrT
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Ha! More Filth, Dirt Cheap - thenceforth any mention of Rhode Island Reds is like hitting rewind and play in my head on a n'th-generation tape copy that's so bad it's gone mono...

And to think, they let him loose every week on That's Life under a different pseudo :-D

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

MrT
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Re: Hear this a LOT

I had to give up my licence for a year after a seizure. Once medically cleared for my full Till-70 licence again, it took them a handful of attempts to get it back to me with the correct entitlements. One of the versions finally had the right categories on, but for car, minibus and light goods vehicles only the "with trailer" codes were listed. When I rang DVLA to check if I should be concerned, not having specced a tow bar on the car I'd just ordered, they admitted that this was an impossible combination and that there were several departments that were able to authorise a reissue. The advisor also said she could see no record of the issue number of the licence I had in front of me, and that I definitely should not have the other (also wrong) version I had next to it as they never issued a licence until the previous one was returned to them.

That was just under 10 years ago - I'm getting ready for the same shenanigans when renewing the photo card in the next month...

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Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

MrT
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Make room! Make room!

Combine this with the self-driving Google cars and they won't even have to pay drivers to take the peds to the Soylent Corp. The idea should be ready by, say, 2022...

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Cars to run ... on Android

MrT
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Go on, then...

"Usually seated to the side of the iDrive control, directly behind the steering wheel??"

</stereotype>

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MrT
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Art we not allowed to just drive cars...?

These days it seems that we're not doing it right unless bombarded by nonsense as well. "Powerful infotainment systems" used to be about quality sounds, but now it seems it's been rebranded as another massive point of distraction... "At the next junction, turn right for more great offers like those from your purchasing history over the past 180 days. Go Argos!", Or maybe "Click here to cancel the next automated pull-in for your next great cup of coffee, sponsored by Costa."

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NASA flashes cash at advanced aerospace concepts

MrT
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The cunning "Magnetoshell" plan...

... one small step from "Activate Magnetoshell" > "Charge the hull plating!" > "Shields up!"

Make it so. Because in the heat of the moment, having to call out "Captain, the Magnetoshell is depleted to 30%" is a bit of a mouthful.

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

MrT
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Re: BBC off then

Depends on the browser . In the desktop version of Firefox I use "User-Agent Switcher" by Linder rather than editing the about: config settings. Whenever Auntie kicks off about media not playing, tell it you're using an iPad, refresh the page and carry on watching. It's pretty much the only website that I use regularly which needs this workaround.

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Watch it again: SpaceX's boomerang rocket lands on robo-sea-barge

MrT
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Landing just before the 30-minute mark...

...sound of someone laughing in the background just after as if the announcer was totally surprised to see the rocket on the pad and nearly forgot to announce it!

Was this a new S1 or a relaunch of the one that made the last drone-ship landing?

Either way, well done!

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

MrT
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Re: Beware

In the month leading up to launch, two of the three laptops here gave the incompatible hardware error for graphics. Though I pushed one to use the old Vista drivers after an upgrade to W10 (and the old December 2008 files worked fine) it wasn't a brilliant experience and I rolled it back to W7pro.

Until I set a registry key to block OS upgrades on the pair I initially kept deleting the hidden W10 download folder, which of course kept refilling. I reckon each did so around 6-8 times, even on the one that had rolled back, with the folder reaching 4-4.5GB (W7HP and W7pro fetched different amounts). I was a bit annoyed that the roll-back option didn't set a "never bother me again" flag. I'd put the estimate of total downloaded at about the 35-40GB mark, although that was down to me trying to never let the download complete by deleting it as it went.

I later used GWX Control Panel, which does a much better job than my hack effort.

I upgraded the third laptop without much fuss, but since the last major update for all the non-admin user accounts it's gradually binned all the built-in apps and now won't open the start menu. It's taking more looking after than both the others together, though YMMV and I know folk who haven't had problems like that.

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Telsa S robo-death-dodge

MrT
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Waiting for Godot...

... Alexei Sayle's version comes to mind, where Godot is delayed, meets various people as he tries to get to the blasted tree on the lonely, desolate road to nowhere ("ah, the M25"...), finally turns up and isn't recognised.

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Intel takes aim at Arduino with US$15 breadboard

MrT
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The Quest for Stuff...

IoT to connect all your stuff. How many Quarks to one bar of gold-pressed latinum?

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Prof Hawking to mail postage-stamp space craft to Alpha Centauri using frickin' lasers

MrT
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Too big, too slow...

...unfold a proton, create the probe inside it, fold it back up and fire it at light speed - send Sophons instead...

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Contactless payments come to in-flight entertainment units

MrT
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What's the range on NFC contacts...?

My wallet's going in the overhead storage - I'm not paying for Nobby's Nuts (or whatever the bloke sat next to me is called).

Although, I can see the announcement now: "RyanAir to introduce contactless payment locks on the overhead storage facilities" - takes a quid every time the locker is opened.

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Top Firefox extensions can hide silent malware using easy pre-fab tool

MrT
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Re: This mess of an article still doesn't explain WTF is going on?

Exactly my thoughts - no link to source material either. At one point the message is "don't trust extension writers", then it's "some are okay", but in parts it looks more like malware is riding in under the cloak of the extension, as if it's nicking a session ID, or that it's replacing the regular extension in the library with a fake version.

If the conclusion is to trust AdBlock more than NoScript... ... oh dear. I'd rather trust NoScript than the ad-slingers and analytics trackers. It's almost as if the research was funded by those behind DoubleClick or AdBlock - wouldn't surprise me if uBlock Origin was also found wanting...

FUD.

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Got a Toshiba laptop? Get it off your lap, then read this recall notice

MrT
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Re: My Satellite

Same here - the kids have a 3yr-old C850-1G2. Since swapping out the HDD to an SSD, it still gets 4-5hrs of real use on a charge though.

The manual check tool shows other parameters for G71C******* parts - model range is broken down further (mine's PSCBWE, and not listed), and even then the serial number has to also match. Ah well, no free battery!

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Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch

MrT
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Re: Bugger

Yeah, that. A friend of mine, Chris Done, has only just gone out to Japan to continue 5yrs of work so far preparing for the data that this satellite was going to bring. She was due to spend the next year in Tokyo on the project.

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French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

MrT
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Monetising...

Soon to be announced - a French dictionary's worth of new TLD names for sale. And not just the ones that kids look up first when learning it as an additional language.

Further news - ICANN offer executive board representation to La Francophonie - rioters in Quebec claim this doesn't go far enough, demanding HTML5 standards recognise le français international and display everything else 5 point sizes smaller...

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Cosmic bonks, breakups led to birth of Saturn's moons as dinos died out

MrT
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Cosmic shotgun...

Evidence of collisions are all over Saturn's moons; it's not just Minas that has huge impact craters - outer moons like Iapetus, Hyperion, even the inner tiddlers like Epimetheus look like targets for objects big enough to break them up, but not quite going that far. What with half in retrograde, Trojans and consistencies ranging from rock to icy sponge, the whole system looks like it's the result of a giant Kessler event.

Or maybe Mimas really is the Death Star, but ran out of power after practising on a few inner moons and has been out of action gathering dust for a while now...

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

MrT
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Re: The three body problem

I think the cultural aspect made it more interesting to me - grounding in the Cultural Revolution, the 'thought police' aspect and so on. I initially read the role of the VR side to be more of an escape, so the way it is described (or not) sort of fitted. I've not read on into the next book, though from the summary it looks like there's more to it than that. It might be that some nuances were lost in translation though.

"But to me the best of science fiction tries to uncover the truth about ourselves." Definitely agree there.

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MrT
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Re: The three body problem

Samsung have a tied version of the Kindle app and every month they offer a few (probably slightly different based on Amazon purchases) from which one can be chosen for free. The Three Body Problem was on the list around July last year - a very good read.

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Ben Nevis embiggened by a metre

MrT
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Re: So in a hundred years time...

' In Scotland we have mixed feelings about global warming because we will get to sit on the mountains and watch the English drown. “More pineapple Huey?” "Well, I've got a coconut here, I'm fine." '

Frankie Boyle

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