* Posts by Flocke Kroes

1516 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

What's black, sticky, and has just 8GB of storage?

Flocke Kroes
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ARM code on x86

Don't laugh too hard. One way to flesh out a Debian root file system for your first ARM CPU is to copy the x86 build of qemu-arm-static to the ARM root fs, and chroot in from an x86. The first time I did this, I could not believe how well it worked.

Setting up all the libraries and header files on x86 for cross compiling to ARM is a pain. The simplest solution can be to use qemu to run an ARM native build of gcc in an ARM root file system. (These days, I only cross compile for MIPS because the ARMs can take care of themselves.)

Emulation is quick these days, and processor speeds are insane. Brute force and laziness is often sufficient to get the job done.

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Flocke Kroes
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Plenty of things I can do with 1G ram + 8G flash

4GB SODIMM with 4 chips: £22 so £5.50 per 1GB chip.

8GB SODIMM with 4 chips: £44 so £11 per 2GB chip.

8GB microSD: £6. 32GB microSD: £16.

£21.50 ≈ $33.33

These prices remove economies of scale and add the cost of putting on a PCB, retailer's profit and delivery. On the other hand, Intel's compute stick comes with the chips on a PCB, and I assume this is a recommended retail price for one via mail order so my price comparison is not all that bad.

For all we know, Intel contribute $5 per stick to the free software foundation and have installed -$10 of crapware on the Windows version. I do not see the price difference as unreasonable, although I would have preferred to see the 2GB+32GB version available with Linux as well. (Some crapware for Linux would be nice too, as I always install my own image anyway.)

The big question here is has Intel put in a CPU that can compete with and ARM CPU in a $110/$149 stick. I have a few ARM's in that price range, and the OS+a hefty pile of software is just over 4GB. For that price, I expect Libreoffice to run without visible delays. (Libreoffice on an old pi is usable if you wait a second or two for it to catch up with your typing).

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Mastercard facial recog-ware will unlock your money using SELFIES

Flocke Kroes
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Interesting

Steal a phone, root it, add a fake camera device that loops a short video of someone blinking. Drawing eye-lids on a photo already stored on the phone would probably be sufficient.

For some reason, this plan does not inspire confidence.

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Samsung ousts Apple as top US smartmobe biz

Flocke Kroes
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These are not the numbers you are looking for

Kantar are the first to release numbers, but the least accurate.

Wait a couple of months, and you can have the averages from multiple sources in handy tables comparing the previous quarter like this.

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Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

Flocke Kroes
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Wrong question

A better question for testing car's HUD is 'How fast are you going?'. If you want the ask 'How many dots on the HUD?', you need to compare reaction times with someone being asked 'How many dots on the instrument panel?'.

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Flocke Kroes
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Why did the EU insist on separating track and train operators?

The track was really banged up, and the standard 'fix' was to add a 'temporary' speed limit. Trains are cheap when rolling, but more expensive to speed up and slow down, so when the track maintainers save money with speed limits, the costs shift to the train operators.

The bumpy tracks used to break the new light-weight trains. The obvious fix was to take them out of service and put the old trains back on. The old ones were solid enough to survive the bumps, but were so heavy that they damaged the tracks.

Was the separation a deliberate attempt to sell more cars?

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OPM data breach: Looking at you, China! National Intelligence head stares out Beijing

Flocke Kroes
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Why not use the tried and tested solution?

Demand that Mr China is sent to America immediately to face charges of doing millions of dollars of damage to US government computers and threaten him with a thousand years of imprisonment. The threat alone will convince hackers not to try the same thing again, and everyone can set their passwords back to '1234'.

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

Flocke Kroes
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Nokia come back next year

The chunk of Nokia that Microsoft bought included the Nokia brand - until some time next year, and Nokia not manufacturing or distributing smart phones. Nokia are designing Android phones, and are seeking manufacturing and distribution partners ready for next year.

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We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

Flocke Kroes
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The BBC was not asked to remove anything

Google was 'asked' not to put links to certain pages in certain search results. When google complies, that has no direct effect on the embarrassing article, only on how people can find it. If you do not like an article on the BBC website, you are welcome to Streisand it through the courts and hope that you get a judgement requiring the BBC to remove it.

I thought all this 'right to be forgotten' was NSA stuff anyway. Finding the dirt on an individual takes time. Far cheaper to require everyone to send a list of the cupboards with their skeletons to Google, and subpoena the lists of persons of interest along with a gag order.

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Britain beats back Argies over Falklands online land grab

Flocke Kroes
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Argies are too late

.mv is Maldives, .ml is Mali and .ms is Montserrat. The only m's left are mb, mf, mi and mj. They could apply for .malvinas. It would cost plenty, and I cannot see them getting their money back from selling sub-domains.

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Vegan eats BeEf, gets hooked

Flocke Kroes
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It would be nice if banks were made aware

Is there a banking site that works without javascript?

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Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

Flocke Kroes
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Back when I was a boy ...

There were laws for copyright, trade marks and patents. There were also laws concerning concrete objects. If I have an idea, and you take it, we both have an idea. If I have a car and you take it, I do not have a car any more. The law took this into account and had harsher penalties for theft than for copyright or patent infringement.

This was a real problem for copyright and patent lawyers, so they embarked on a decade long campaign to get the words 'intellectual property' taken seriously. 'Unlawful copying' became 'theft' and civil offences became criminal offences. The battle for these words is as hopelessly lost as the difference between 'hacker' and 'cracker'.

Copyright was supposed to be a balance between the desires of creators and consumers. These days, you would think the idea was to pay creators a percentage of the profits, and to increase legal fees to swallow increased fines until creators get less than nothing. (Consumers are given the opportunity to pay a small fine if the cave in without a fight. Payment of the fine is conclusive evidence that they were guilty, so should be threatened again for more money.)

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10 things you need to avoid SNAFUs in your data centre

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Arse!

That is because you are doing it all wrong. You are not supposed to insert the plugs there.

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Hackers exploit fresh PC hijack bug in Adobe Flash Player, the internet's screen door

Flocke Kroes
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Alternatives

gnash

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Pirate captain blasts Google for its 'mystery' Chrome blob

Flocke Kroes
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Licensing

I took a brief look at the licenses. These are open source licenses, not free software licenses. The non-Google authors of the code selected licenses that permit linking with closed source software. Google is not obliged to release any of their source code for Chrome.

If Google had incorporated anything with a proper free software license, then recipients of Chrome would be protected by the four freedoms of free software and would have the right to purchase the source code at approximately the cost of media and shipping.

As always, read and understand the license before installing or contributing to a project.

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Sun like it hot: Philae comet probe wakes up, phones home again

Flocke Kroes
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Jumping off 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

If you can jump up 2.5cm on Earth, then you can jump off 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and not come back (you would have to climb to the 'top' and jump in the direction of your spin). If you can jump a whole 10cm on Earth, you can leave 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from any point and in any direction (you would have to bounce a few times if you pick a poor direction).

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FBI says in secret that secret spy Cessnas aren't secret

Flocke Kroes
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If you are happy about it ...

... why don't you fund it yourself?

I can understand the FBI refusing to answer questions like 'what do we get for all this tax payers money'. There are good and bad reasons for dodging that one. They also evaded 'how much does it cost', and there are no good reasons for that at all.

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Phone scamming up 30 percent last year: Report

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Upvoted for McGyver like innovation...

SheevaPlug was a cheap ARM based server that fitted inside its own wall wart. They were $99 in 2009. These days, a Pi would be cheaper, but not as tidy as it requires an external wall wart. The computing requirements are not that steep, but as this is a 24x7 widget you might want something from this decade to save power.

Asterisk is a free software router. The good news is it does everything. The bad news is you are going to have to read the manual to set it up. I liked the idea too, and my first thought was, why not put asterisk in the router. A quick web search later, and I discovered this was old news in 2010.

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BOOM! Stephen Elop shuffled out of Microsoft door

Flocke Kroes
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Microsoft is doing well in the phone business

Plenty of revenue, but not from WP. I think Microsoft has already shown their plans for their future in the mobile phone industry.

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Airbus to build 900 mini-satellites for OneWeb's orbital internet system

Flocke Kroes
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SpaceShip2 has nothing to do with launching satellites

Some rich joyriders can care about SpaceShipTwo. For this type of mission, the appropriate Virgin kit is WhiteKnightTwo (Flying since 2008) and LauncherOne (first launch expected in 2016). If things go according to plan and budget, WhiteKnightTwo+LauncherOne will be able to launch these satellites for about $10,000,000 each.

The tech is not that new. Pegasus has been launching since 1990. It has scored 37 out of 42 successful launches (last 28 all successes) and should be able to launch a pair of these satellites for about $11,000,000.

Stratolaunch are working on a similar launch system, and expect their carrier aircraft to fly in 2016, and the first air launch in 2018.

A SpaceX Falcon9 v1.1 would be able to launch about 80 satellites at a time for around $750,000 each. If you could magically space the customers to match the satellite orbits, and the satellites last 5 years, then the launch costs would add about $150/year for a customer with a 100Mb/s connection and a 50:1 contention ratio.

I could understand using a Pegasus to demonstrate the tech and get further investment, but a profitable system would need something priced like a Falcon. The only reason to consider LauncherOne is if you can get a really good deal for a launch on an untested vehicle. SpaceShipTwo is only relevant because it could divert R&D funds away from LauncherOne.

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It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

Flocke Kroes
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Depends on the packaging

For at least a decade, the smallest chip packages have become so thin that they let light in. Somehow, this still surprises people. If the packing is not the smallest possible (or completely absent), then it can block all light except from the largest sharks.

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OPEN WIDE: Microsoft Live Writer authoring tool going open source

Flocke Kroes
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@Ragarath

I went straight to asking 'What licence?'. It is possible you might have gently ambled to a conclusion about what I was expecting without a shred of evidence.

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Flocke Kroes
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What licence?

Microsoft have made source code available before, with a license that said something like: "If you could have seen this source code, and you ever make money out of software in future, Microsoft can sue you for copyright infringement. Something in that source code will bear some remote resemblance to something you are selling, so you must have stolen they idea from Microsoft."

'Open source' is about as definitive as 'real soon now'. It could be anything from GPL to blatant trap.

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Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

Flocke Kroes
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Bundled spinning disk

Pull the old disk out of your USB enclosure, and slot in the bundled one ready for your next backup. Move the SSD from you dead laptop to your new one. CPU's have been fast enough for a decade.

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Linus Torvalds asks kernel devs to take a break so he can too

Flocke Kroes
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If it bothers you ...

... release Linux-4.1-David_Austin.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you. Other people already maintain their own Linux based kernels. This is usually to support rare hardware or some exotic and intrusive kernel extensions. One day, someone will do a better job of maintaining a main stream kernel than Linus. When that happens, people will switch to submitting patches and syncing to that tree. In the mean time, Linus is doing a sufficiently good job that most penguins are not looking for or working hard to be a replacement.

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Flocke Kroes
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Euro in the UK

A few UK department stores accept euro notes. Expect delay while the shop assistant learns how the shop handles euros - or US$ or ¥. The exchange rate will not be that good either.

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Au-mazing! Cornwall sold GOLD to Ireland back in the Bronze Age

Flocke Kroes
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Before gold plating

There were tin plated cables. They worked OK, but oxidation caused them to get jammed so you could not unplug your expensive kit without breaking it.

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Flocke Kroes
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It's obvious

The thing Ireland had (no use for) that Cornwall wanted was metal detectors.

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Remake, remodel: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Flocke Kroes
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Why I picked Linux on Chromebook instead of Linux on windows

It was really cheap. I haven't had such good value for money since Microsoft said Intel's latest chipset was too wimpy for Vista. Defeating Android lock-in hardware is a pain, but so is UEFI. If a cheap laptop gets broken or nicked, I haven't lost much, but I will not take an expensive laptop out of the house.

Given a choice, I buy would buy a Linux machine. If a Pi does the job then fine, and there are faster micro-desktop alternatives at good prices. Linux laptop prices are silly. Now if Microsoft would only come out with Vista2, I would happily buy a marked down too-small-for-Vista2 laptop with extra crapware.

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DARPA unTerminators gather for Robotics Challenge finals in Hell*

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Observations

What restrictions to you see in FOSS all the time?

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Passions run high in EU parliament debate over air passengers' privacy

Flocke Kroes
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Cool ...

If I live 100 years, I can commit crimes every day, and the police will not be able to keep records of it. I can just imagine turning up in court and no-one else knowing why I am there - probably because I did not turn up last week.

In the mean time, what happens if I lie about my age?

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Virgin Galactic will get into space 'within 18 months to two years'

Flocke Kroes
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Final frontier altitude

A reasonably accepted 'official' minimum altitude for space is 100km. SpaceShipTwo is intended to reach 110km, so there is enough of an excuse to call it a space ship. It is carried into the air mostly horizontally, and after launch goes up, falls down and when it gets deep enough into the atmosphere, it levels out and glides home.

When going to orbit, a rocket goes up to get out of the worst of the atmosphere, then leans over to almost horizontal. If it did not go up first, air resistance would melt it long before it went fast enough for orbit. When in orbit, a space ship has a little energy because of its altitude (>150km) and lots of energy because the velocity required to stay in orbit. SpaceShipTwo has almost no velocity at 110km, so it has no chance whatsoever of reaching orbit. Even if it did go fast enough, there is enough atmosphere at 110km to bring it down before it goes around once.

It really is the absolute minimum required for the widest definition of a space ship. The maiden voyage will be in late 2009... well, RSN anyway.

Virgin Galactic are working on a cargo launcher called LauncherOne. It is intended to take 230kg (≈two humans, one space suit and no ride home) to low Earth orbit. LauncherOne gets carried by White Knight Two, just like SpaceShipTwo. The first test flights will be in late 2016. If it is not very late, it will meet a much stronger definition of a (cargo) space ship.

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Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Flocke Kroes
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Have you tested this theory?

Oversimplified:

The capacitance is εA/d where ε depends on the material, A is the area and d is the distance between electrodes. Increasing the pressure will decrease d, decrease A twice and might do something to ε. Unless you have proper figures from the manufacturer, a small decrease in capacitance with pressure is a sensible guess.

The maximum voltage depends on d and the material. Increasing the pressure reduces d, but also (often) increases the breakdown voltage. Unless you have proper figures from the manufacturer, expecting the maximum voltage to remain constant is a sensible guess.

The other figures of merit are impedance at working frequency, maximum current, and temperature for 1000 hours of life. (1000 hours is far too short, so over specify the voltage by a factor of two to double the life, and over specify the temperature by 10C to double the life. Repeat until life time = mandatory guaranty.) It is really hard to guess what some extra pressure would do to these values, but you can be confident that the voltage and temperature markings on the capacitor wildly exceed those it will actually experience, and the whole idea of liquid cooling is to be more effective than air cooling.

How much pressure: every 10m of water get you an extra atmosphere of pressure. I doubt that the tanks are a whole 2m deep, and oil floats on water, so a sensible guess is less than a 20% increase in pressure.

In digital circuits, the capacitors are there to stop ground bounce. The capacitors were not selected for capacitance, and ±20% is often chosen because they are cheap. The figure that matters is impedance at some frequency. Often two sizes are fitted to cover a wide range of frequencies. The actual impedance has to be 'low enough', and as the components are cheap, adding plenty is often cheaper than experimenting to find out how few you can get away with.

In power circuits, the important number is maximum current. Selecting for this normally limits you to capacitors that have more capacitance than your circuit requires. The result is usually harmless, especially as modern (or ten year old) switch mode controllers have soft start built in to deal with large capacitive loads.

The only thing where pressure will make a clear difference is _after_ the circuit has failed. Abusing electrolytic capacitors causes them to create gasses inside the can until the can ruptures. The cans have been scored so they burst before the internal pressure becomes excessive. Increasing the external pressure will delay the rupture, and a liquid environment will do a better job of transmitting a shock wave to the rest of the power supply. This is entirely academic because the capacitor only ruptured because the power supply was already badly broken.

I can understand manufacturers voiding warranties as a precaution because they have not tested there components at 1.2 atmospheres. When I have looked for data, manufacturers did not know and did not care. The theory does not point to a clear and obvious problem, so the only way anyone is going to know for sure is to dunk a hundred power supplies, run them for two years and count the survivors.

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Elon Musk's $4.9 BEELLLION taxpayer windfall revealed

Flocke Kroes
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They can tell us what they did

They made enemies.

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Flocke Kroes
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Comparing with a 'competitive' project

From wakipedia's entry for Space Launch System:

During the joint Senate-NASA presentation in September 2011, it was stated that the SLS program has a projected development cost of $18 billion through 2017, with $10 billion for the SLS rocket, $6 billion for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and $2 billion for upgrades to the launch pad and other facilities at Kennedy Space Center.

If everything related to Elon Musk is under 5G$, then SpaceX is a bargain.

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Swordfish fatally stabs man after man stabs, fatally, swordfish

Flocke Kroes
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@TonyJ

Isn't it every American's right to arm bears?

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Bank: Without software mojo, Android OEMs are doomed to 'implode'

Flocke Kroes
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Android implosion: 2014Q1=69%, 2015Q4=77% install base

S6 vs S5: Not waterproof, no MicroSD slot, USB 2.0 instead of 3, and has a non-removable battery.

Perhaps there are reasons why people did not rush to re-grade to S6, and the S5 continued to sell well. Samsung still have the largest market share in Q1 2015: 24.3%. Samsung have lost some market share - to other Android manufacturers.

As this is an Orlowski article, the obvious take home is that Samsung and doing well because of Android. Microsoft appear to have caught on, as they released Office for Android last year.

The only thing I find surprising about the article is that is does not mention that Windows Phone actually is in third place. This has been a goal and a false claim from Microsoft for years, but they are now up to 3% market share, 2% installed base and the other also-rans are finally lower. 'Also ran' is a bit generous. Crawled away to die might be more accurate.

I have to admit I did not expect Microsoft to get third place by default. I thought one of the newbies (Sailfish, Tizen, Firefox) would sneak in. (WP installed base is 47 million. CyanogenMod might be over 50 million but it gets lumped in with Android sufficiently often that the figure I have may suffer from different errors than the ones for Android, iOS and WP.)

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Flocke Kroes
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Observable and repeatable

Take slab of limestone, measure the thickness and dump it in a river. Come back a year later, and measure the thickness again. Divide one mile by the amount that the river has worn down your limestone slab. There is a repeatable observation that the grand canyon took longer to form than the creationalists' age of the Earth. There are many, many more.

Now pray to your God and have him create Earth V2 somewhere it can be seen with a small telescope. Give us the co-ordinates before Earth V2 is created and lets see if anything turns up a week later.

While we are at it, why would a loving god create Onchocerca volvulus?

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NASA hands Boeing first commercial crew contract for SPAAAACE

Flocke Kroes
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There is a way to meet the deadlines

Stop all development, pocket half the money, wait a bit, then buy some SpaceX Dragons.

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Wearable fitness tech: Exercising your self-motivation skills

Flocke Kroes
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@ Defibrillator

I have mixed feelings about this add-on. One of the treadmills at my old gym sometimes showed a believable heart rate. If we ignore that one and average the rest, then my heart rate has been zero for years. As I feel fine, I clearly do not need a defibrillator.

If lots of other people choose to wear an internet connected defibrillator, I foresee endless fun for sadistic crackers.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Muppet

Of course not. The ground sloths flew in on the backs of pterodactyls.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: Who actually cares?

Creationalist points between two animals and shouts 'MISSING LINK!' Biologist points at the link and creationalist shouts 'TWO MISSING LINKS!!' Biologist points at the two links and creationalist shouts 'FOUR MISSING LINKS!!!!' This goes on until the biologist realises that the creationalist is never going to stop.

Anyone would think that 'gaps in the fossil record' were because fossilisation is rare and there is a limited budget for fossil hunting. There is conclusive evidence that the creationalists are talking bollocks. Ask them what a 'kind' is. Creationalists 'explain' selective breeding by restrictinng evolution into 'kinds'. One 'kind' cannot evolve into another 'kind'. Years ago, a popular form of creationalist baiting was to ask for a list of kinds, then point at a common ancestor of two of the kinds that was not another kind in the list. Creationalists have not been able to produce a complete list of kinds. They have no theory compatible with selective breeding and the fossil record - except something like 'God deliberately created a bunch of fossils to wind us up'.

Columbus: The world was a sphere centuries before Columbus. The ancients could watch a ship sail away and see the hull go over the horizon before the sails (they were scientists and could test truth with an experiment). The problem was that a few people were already trading with North America, and getting good deals because of their monopoly. A state sponsored trip would have made the existence of North America common knowledge. Other people would have started trading and introduced competitive pricing. This had to be prevented, and the time proven way to ignore the results of an experiment was to start a debate.

You are right that a fight between creationalism and evolution does not help anyone. What does help is using experiments to test which theories are wrong. (Experiments do not prove something right, only that a theory makes useful predictions - or not). Experiments cured scurvy (multiple times because it was centuries before the value of the experimental method was understood). The real fight is not between creationalism and evolution. It is between experiment and 'I read it in a book' or 'in my heart I know it is true'.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: Why does everyone assume he (Ham) believes this stuff?

I thought is was a publicity exercise to raise money for his ark.

(While checking the ark project status I found a couple of Hamisms: "You can't stop something God is doing!" and "Please be aware that the associated complications and struggles have been beyond our control")

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: It would actually explain the dragons

Photographic proof for the existence of cyclopes. OK, its a dwarf elephant skull.

Photographic proof for the existence of griffins. OK, it is a Protoceratops.

There have been plenty of opportunities for ancient peoples to see a fossil and invent a near contemporary legend to explain it. Sometime the fossil needs to be corrected a bit first.

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Flocke Kroes
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@AceRimmer

There is a big secret in science that they do not want you to know: In science the test of truth is an experiment. The intelligent design nutters have tried to keep this fact out of the curriculum.

Perfect & infallible, never wrong:

Quantum mechanics and general relativity give excellent predictions at small scales and in strong gravitational fields respectively. The two theories are incompatible. There are several attempts at theories that work at small scales and in strong gravity at the same time. The bad news is that so far no-one has devised an experiment that would test (disprove some of) those theories that we could do with current technology and a practical budget. Scientists have known their theories were not perfect for many decades. Before quantum mechanics, no-one could explain the photo-electric effect or the ultra-violet catastrophe. Before general relativity, the orbit of Mercury was surprising.

Although people have been reading the bible and praying to God for centuries, those methods of finding "truth" have utterly failed to predict the existence and location of Neptune, calculate an accurate orbit for Mercury, select materials for a solar panel, ... Religion has changed over the centuries. It does not matter whether you think the change was good or bad. On at least one side of the change, religion was wrong. Despite this, religion is supposed to be perfect, infallible and never wrong.

Never contradictory:

Journalists and documentary producers often present 'the opposing view'. Sometimes because controversy is dramatic and improves ratings/sales/page impressions and sometimes because they are required to by law. Scientists do an experiment to prove at least one opposing view wrong. Religious people read their holy book or pray to their God and come up with a few more opposing views.

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Flocke Kroes
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Got any more from this loon?

"Mr Ham has asserted that scientists cannot claim to have proof of their theories if they weren’t there at the time to observe those theories in action."

Let's apply that to Mr Ham. By his own logic, if Mr Ham wants to claim dinosaurs and humans co-existed two thousand years ago, he must have been there at the time. Likewise as he claims God created the universe, clearly Mr Ham was there to see it, before god create Adam.

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Microsoft tosses Office, Skype portball to 20 Android makers

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Free Office ???

Or do they mean bundled: buy a device and some of the money goes to Microsoft?

I have no problem with crapware as it reduces the price and it disappears when I wipe the device and install the OS of my choice. Where I draw the line is bundled. I should have a choice about what I pay for.

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EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

Flocke Kroes
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I might have a hint of sympathy for the porn blocker if ...

... it replaced naughty pictures with 'Blocked by the IWF'. As it is, we have no idea what it is blocking.

I would prefer a system that does not require people who do not want it to fund it.

Opt in does not seem that hard. ISPs like to send bills by e-mail in thoroughly obfuscated HTML. It would not be hard to add a 'porn filter disabled, click here to change' link.

The threatened penalties for hosting porn make it tempting to hack a politicians web site and upload some naughty pictures.

Finally paying people to search the whole internet for naughty pictures is a waste of money. It would be cheaper to search only domains matching '^([a-z0-9]+[.])*kids([.][a-z0-9]+)*[.]uk$'. It would simplify the filters too.

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SanDisk opens for business with point-of-sale terminal SSD

Flocke Kroes
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Depends where you buy

I have found flash bought at a supermarket lasts for minutes, but flash bought from a distributor that specialises in computing kit lasts for years. The difference between the two is that the good stuff is made with the correct new silicon during office hours. The rubbish is made after most of the workers have gone home, out of whatever half sized, second hand silicon they could scrape off the bottom of the bargain basement bin. The firmware is always told to lie about the capacity of the device. Something that works might report up to 75% of the installed capacity. The broken stuff will report at least 200%.

I have confidence that a supermarket buyer can put the right smell by date on a fish, and have evidence that it was correctly refrigerated from death to display. I am less confident that the same person can buy working flash given the abilities of the forgers.

The thing I found surprising is how little write endurance is actually required on an ordinary desktop/laptop. On Linux, you can find the number of sectors written to each disk from power on with:

awk '{print FILENAME,$7}' /sys/class/block/sd?/stat

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

Flocke Kroes
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Much to my shame, I went to PC world

(There were only two distributors for the first Chromebooks and I wanted a cheap Debian laptop). You should have seen the salesman's face when he found he could not sell me anti-virus, Office and whatever high-commission bloat they cram down the throats of the ignorant. There are other reasons, but that alone accounts for many non-sales of desktop Linux.

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