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* Posts by Schultz

987 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data

Schultz
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You failed to talk about the hidden danger of testing multiple hypothesis against a set of data

Any hypothesis based on the data should be assumed as flaky unless tested by independent data. Lets go through an example:

You throw your perfect coin 10 times and have a 100 people (subjects) trying to control the result by mind power. There are 2**10 = 1024 possible outcomes. The result will probably be disappointing, even with very hard concentration your subjects should not be able to control the coin more than 50% of the time. But once you got that result, you might break down the group of subjects into subgroups -- wouldn't it make sense that the power is stronger in some than in others? Lets split the group in male and female, large and small, sort them by skin color and eye color, age and place of birth. Suddenly you have 1000 possible sub-groups and you will forcibly find a statistically significant control over the coin toss in some sub-group. But every extra hypothesis actually reduces the significance of your result -- so the correlation is worthless. The correlation must be tested against new data to be significant.

This problem does occur in serious academic research and a quite senior professor recently reported that some humans have a statistically undisputable ability of foresight (but only the males , only involving sexual pictures, ... and whatever else was required to make his data talk).

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Schultz
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Gamification is great...

but you have to face that only some of the kids will like your game when it gets harder. Afterwards you either force it down everybody's throat or you accept that the kids go back to their own favorite games.

The question is whether you just want to give everybody a little taste, hoping that some get hooked or if you want to educate beyond that.

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Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future

Schultz
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Bring on the badge...

But the vulture droppings should gracefully decay with time, from gold ... to silver ... to bronze ... to whatever vulture poo is supposed to look like. The Fail OTW should get the ungilded version directly.

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NSA Sentry Eagle placed spies in private companies

Schultz
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NSA simply "recruit the guy causing the block"

Now this would explain their thirst for collecting all information everywhere: It's simply a recruiting tool.

Now see, we are willing to pay you good money to destroy your company's product and integrity, but if you don't want our money we might also consider releasing a few images from your Friday night wanking session (you did know that you computer has a camera, didn't you?). Our profile of your wife indicates that she might be highly receptive to such data.

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Cops and spies should blame THEMSELVES for smartphone crypto 'problem' - Hyppönen

Schultz
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Unhappy

Breaking trust

The true price of the boundless secret spying won't be evident for a long time and will be due to the loss of trust within and among states. We thought we lived in some kind of international utopia and could travel and trade without boundaries. Now the three letter agencies reminded us that you can't trust anybody -- not even the government of an apparently enlightened state.

If you ever wondered whether the next century belongs to the Chinese or US model of governing -- stop wondering, they nicely converge.

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Chatting to Al Qaeda? Try not to do that – Ex spy chief defends post-Snowden NSA

Schultz
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All those selfless people sacrificing their life for the noble cause

Wait a moment, sacrificing their life? That sounds a bit too fanatical to me. Here I thought that we enlightened westerners don't do that anymore.

But then it looks like they try to emulate their opponents to make sure they don't have an edge. - - we have to close the suicide bomber gap, we have to close the evilness gap, we have to ensure the survival of civilization. Hello Mr. Strangelove.

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Labour outsources digital policy, Tories turn up to finish it

Schultz
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Boffin

It's just PR

An nobody on The Register is part of the target audience. But don't worry, before the next election they'll tell you exactly what you want to hear (provided you have been a good boy, keeping all those cookies they sent you).

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Schultz
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... everyone can just get a cheque to cover the basics ...

In some countries (I come from Germany), the welfare benefits do approach the weekly 130 pounds and I agree that it's a good sign that the society can afford this. But the way those programs are currently shaped are quite problematic: big bureaucracies to determine individual needs, more bureaucracy to push people back into work, and the whole thing is constructed in a way that minor jobs will simply be deducted from the welfare, so there is no incentive to work small jobs. I know of an example, where a highly qualified academic couldn't quickly return to part-time work, because nobody was willing to take care of her new kid as part-time job. Every candidate proclaimed that not working payed just as well as that lousy part-time job. Work should always pay, but it doesn't.

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New Snowden leak: US and Brit spooks 'tap into German telco networks to map end devices'

Schultz
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Facepalm

With 20:20 hindsight ...

after all the Snowden revelations, you are correct. But before, did anybody seriously believe the US would do all of those things on such a massive scale? Benevolent US, the giver of democracy and peace, selfless promoter of trade and wealth, ... well, replace that with selfish, scared bunch of greedy b**turds.

They are willing to destroy all the trust that was built in the post cold-war period. Do you still expect the rising powers to constructively engage in a peaceful, multilateral world of trade and information exchange if the US subverts (or tries to subvert) every electronic device they can get their hand on? The US started the new cold war in cyberspace, let's hope it stays there.

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Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say

Schultz
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Devil

Weather balloon from the credit card companies

But why it only applies to every $100 spent remains a mystery to me. should we expect a lot of $99.99 special offers in the near future?

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Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

Schultz
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Trollface

A good argument for bandwidth managenent

The FC just realized what happens if everyone can sent unlimited numbers of emails. High time to manage those tunes!

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Schultz
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... education programs to stop Australians pirating

Oooh, is that the annoying 3 minutes of stupid advertisement ''You are a CRIMINAL!'' they like to insert when you pay good money to see a movie? I love those, not.

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Snooptastic US CELL TOWERS pose man-in-the-middle THREAT

Schultz
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Purely hypothetically...

Purely hypothetically, what country would you be talking about?

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Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather

Schultz
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Re: Everyone got something to hide

With the modern 'catch all' laws against terrorism (watching videos or visiting websites), IP theft, ... everybody is a criminal.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

Schultz
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Re: It's just mathematical equivalency

You got it. and with all the matter in the universe, we can never build a computer large enough to simulate all the matter in the universe, so we can't answer the ultimate questions of 'where did it all come from' or 'is there a free will or is the Universe simply evolving from one particular starting point'. We can speculate and disprove a lot of wrong hypotheses, that's about it.

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Apple, Samsung call off all patent spats outside United States

Schultz
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Coat

Strange decision...

After all they have LOTS of money sitting abroad that could be used to pay foreign lawyers, but that can't be used to pay off the shareholders. Also, this will undermine the credibility of their thermonuclear judicial war, will they abandon Steve Job's legacy?

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IBM can't give away its chip business: report

Schultz
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Stop

"Big Blue is believed to leak a billion or two dollars each year"

<pendant>

Big Blue is believed to leak one or two billion dollars each year.

FTFY (or did IBM suddenly loose their famed accounting abilities / stopped counting the peanuts)

</pendant>

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CIA super-spy so sorry spies spied on Senate's torture scrutiny PCs

Schultz
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Facepalm

So now it's official

The American security services don't give a rat's ass about the democratic system they are meant to protect. Checks and balances? That's so last century! Now they check everything and balance any critical reporting with made-up official statements, inofficial leaks, and covert propaganda.

The only way to solve this problem is to cut their budget; when the gravy train stops, all those smart boys may go out and do something productive. But I guess the failure to recognize any of the recent threats (Arab spring *6, Ukraine crisis, ...) will just be a reason to spend more money.

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China in MONOPOLY PROBE into Microsoft: Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 yuan

Schultz
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With decades of experience as monopolist ...

I would assume that MS keeps the paper trail clear of incriminating evidence. But then who knows what they are writing down in Chinese.

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Comcast bosses: THAT pushy sales rep was only obeying orders

Schultz
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Happy

Can we agree on a safe word to cut the crap?

Something like "stop #$@&%*! buggering me and cancel the service",

or "#$@&%*! cancel the #$@&%*! contract",

or "why the #$@&%*! #$@&%*! don't you #$@&%*! listen and #$@&%*! confirm my #$@&%*!#$@&%*!#$@&%*! request".

The retention agent would stop retaining everybodies time, the customer could release some steam to hold off the next heart attack, and the customer rating would improve to #$@&%*! horrible.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Schultz
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Go

Definition too broad?

If somebody is afraid of you, then you are a terrorists. Full stop. Turns out the politicians / the police are afraid of a lot of things, so the broad definition makes perfect sense.

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Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN

Schultz
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Re: not so clear

"Actually, all this test means is that the default path between Netflix and this guy is congested, and that the paths between Netflix and the VPN host, and between the VPN host and this guy, are not congested."

And I thought the internet routes packages the fastest way, not the shortest way (for your personal definition of 'short'). Somebody somewhere is steering the traffic and is not doing a good / honest job.

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'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website

Schultz
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Comments can be emailed [... and will] be considered

... if they agree with the forgone conclusion.

FTFY. Or am I cynical?

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Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project

Schultz
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...that thing will never work...

I am sure that the scientists involved will claim that it works like a charm! Too bad for you if you can't emphasize properly with the disembodied mouse brain. More money, please!

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German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

Schultz
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Facepalm

A German Snowden ...

But he did it for money and he was bad at it. It makes you wonder how many secrets are sold and bought in that business. Somebody give Snowden a price for providing some context for the whole game.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Schultz
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Gee, the world has moved on

When we were kids fighting Unix, we had to define that (la/ll) alias ourselves.

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Schultz
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Who are these terrorists?

Well, we now know you are an extremist if you use TOR. So I would assume you become a terrorist if you ever sent an encrypted email, live in a suspicious country, or posted an anonymous comment in this forum.

The US spying bureaucracy redefines the language as they see fit (if they can't change the law, they just re-interpret the meaning of it). Can not collect data on US citizens? Let's create some statistical measure of 'foreigner' to make everybody a potential foreigner. Let's not 'collect' data but instead store and automatically trawl it. I didn't see their interpretation of 'data' in the press yet, but I am sure it's obfuscatingly creative.

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Schultz
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Happy

"If the government cannot defend itself, what good is government at all?"

...and I thought that the government should protect its citizens. Must have misread that whole democracy thing.

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Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

Schultz
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But they are patent trolls!

Just like Apple, only on a much smaller scale.

That fact that Apple produces some stuff should not distract from the fact that they play the patent lottery with some massive stakes. The patent law on software / electronics is broken but an intellectual property mosquito like GPNE is not fundamentally different from the larger carnivores out there.

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

Schultz
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advanced mathematical knowledge

Come on, you don't need advanced mathematical knowledge to guesstimate swimming pools.

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Dotcom crypto keys not for the FBI: NZ High Court

Schultz
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Getting desperate?

Didn't they claim to have a waterproof case against him when they made the raid? Now it seems like they are desperately fishing to find something that might stick.

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Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

Schultz
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Headmaster

Holy s**t ...

this discussion is fubar. Need to get a specialist in to clean it up -- anybody doing string theory? Gravitational physics (irrelevant here, I know)? Astrophysics? Physics for dummies?

Darn, where are the boffins if you need one! Stop the nonsense forthwith, kids!

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What is ex-NSA spyboss selling for $1m a month, asks US congressman

Schultz
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Big money

With the US spending billions on Homeland security, it's not hard to see the value of a good insider consultant. Want to get in on the gravy train? Here is your ticket (first class only!).

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

Schultz
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Stop

Re: I'd be more concerned

You want case studies; I lived in Canada and Germany, so here are the local case studies involving the US:

Maher Arar: Canadian and Syrian citizenship, had the wrong name and made the mistake of traveling through the States on his way from Syria to Canada in 2002. Was 'deported' to Syria for some serious questioning (The US didn't like to torture at home). It took more than a year until he was released due to being completely innocent -- a little worse off for the wear and tear of enhanced interrogations.

Murat Kurnaz: Turkish resident in Germany, was detained in Pakistan and spent 5 years in Guantanamo. Establishing his complete innocence took only a few years but getting him out of nowhere land took a few more. Living not so happily ever after.

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One little fact about investment you should know

Schultz
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One little fact about investment you should know

Chances are that you are invested in the stockmarket. If you are not, then you may have a pension funds or some life insurance that most certainly invests your hard earned money.

So here is the one little fact you should be aware of: The dart-throwing monkey will most certainly outperform your investment advisor or pension funds manager. Read about it here or here or here.

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EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches

Schultz
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Go

Alternative history

Isn't it obvious: Apple and company simply have very smart Irish-Dutch employees that add incredible amounts of value to the products? The employees elsewhere are dolts and barely contribute to the bottom line and quite obviously don't contribute to the rather brainy task of developing, producing and marketing modern electronics.

The downside is just as obvious: after all the smart companies hired all the smart Irishmen, only idiots were left to run the country and this created the big local economic crisis. So let's rewrite the history books, there never have been any crooks. (It rhymes, so it must be true!)

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Snowden's Big Brother isn't as Orwellian as you'd think

Schultz
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Re: It's not today's government you need to worry about...

It's not just tomorrows government, but tomorrows governing system. A government that aims for all-encompassing knowledge but keeps as much as possible from its citizens is simply incompatible with democracy. Such a system will always create people that will try to make undemocratic decisions simply 'because they know better'.

Democracy only works among equals, there can't be a class of people that are better (informed), more powerful (information is power) ... else democracy will fail. There also can't be an open market in a secrecy-based society: a market requires trust and only openness creates trust.

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Schultz
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Facepalm

All wrong ...

a boffin is the guy who will go a day (and night) without food because he encountered an interesting problem.

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Schultz
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Facepalm

Look at page 113 of the 'Greenwald' file

and you will understand the Chinese point of view.

Here is the document (pdf)

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Quantum teleportation gets reliable at Delft

Schultz
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Re: Question.

No information was transmitted in the teleportation experiment. If it were, it would violate the space-time continuum and our universe would collapse into a deterministic quantum soup, or so.

You don't have to worry about competition to your Star Trek teleporter because the fastest quantum information transmission occurs with the speed of light and you therefore might just hurl the physical object with /almost/ c instead.

Interesting, how the scientific articles never claim information teleportation, but the press releases always throw it in for some good PR. Science versus media.

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Scientists capture DEATH STAR in VIOLENT EXPLOSION

Schultz
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Not seen in real time?

But Schrödingers cat could tell you that it didn't happen until you saw it. Add spacetime continuum, event horizon, etc. and you'll get the picture.

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Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

Schultz
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Re: The 787 was a risk-averse management boondoggle

Good analysis. With the 787 they tried to change the process of design, development, production, and financing all at the same time. They should have expected that there would be snags which could hold up the whole process. Cut the pay for upper level managers to reflect their failure and raise the pay for all those technicians who made it fly in the end.

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Beijing to Washington: Ratted-out routers not welcome here

Schultz
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Holmes

And that's why an open market requires an open society

Until quite recently, the western democracies (especially the US) preached that economic development requires open markets and that open markets require an open, democratic society. Somehow this message got lost in the big swirl of international finance and trade. But now we can start to see how secretive systems erode trust and ultimately erode the free market.

Funny how the US is leading this development just like they led the campaign for free markets. So where is the world heading if / when the international markets go the way of the lemmings?

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Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water

Schultz
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Maybe not so smart

The experiment works, but it is stupid on many levels (didactically speaking):

Propane has a high ignition point (some 500 C), a low heat capacity, and high homogeneity. So if the flame is blown out, all propane is cooled and diluted below the ignition point and re-ignition does not occur. Other fuels, such as wood, do not have any of those properties and you seriously have to cool the complete surface of the flammable material to avoid re-ignition.

Extinguishing a gas flame without removing the gas source creates an explosion hazard. Never do it, and especially never do it in a confined space (indoors).

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Cisco reboots PC with $1500 'Scandafornian' Android fondleslab

Schultz
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Re: The trouble with 'touch' on the desktop...

is that people mess up the screen. I still wait for the USB powered wiper or the dishwasher-safe screen.

But seriously, touchscreens rarely improve productivity and they should not be the first choice of user interface if there is room for alternatives.

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Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

Schultz
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Thumb Up

Huvr board

Retails online for $589, but with a top speed of 12 mph it's not really a commuter solution. So it really depends on what/where you want to hoover.

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Schultz
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Re: If he's into self-flagellation

I use Latex a lot. Turns out to be a much faster way to get things on paper than most of the alternatives (Wordstar surely excepted). The initial learning curve is a bit painful though.

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Oracle tries to get $1.3bn verdict against SAP reinstated

Schultz
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Steal customers ...

next thing you know, they try that newfangled 'capitalism' thing.

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Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors

Schultz
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" USA is perpetrating just what it accuses China of doing"

Well, I'd guess that's why they were suddenly so worried about Huawei's hardware. Must have been a case of 'OMG, we do this to them and they might do the same to us'. Kind of the inverse of don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself.

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Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Schultz
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... they stick you in the loony-bin for trying to rob someone with a pan

Nah, you go to jail just like an ordinary robber.

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