* Posts by Schultz

1221 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Schultz
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Two thumbs up for vaping...

it reduces the annoying side effects for bystanders by an order of magnitude.

Next up: vaping of legal Heroin and other hard drugs. That will also reduce unpleasant side effects, namely petty crime, organized crime, destroyed life's of addicts,... If you don't believe me, then go read up on the drug programs in Zürich in the 90s. I was there and saw it work.

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Wow. What a shock. The FBI will get its bonus hacking powers after all

Schultz
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... to find the target's true location

So this is to identify the address of one 'target' (criminal) after having identified a probable crime, or is it a free-for-all to hack and sniff random computers that have used Tor or VPN?

Not that it makes a difference for us non US residents. As I understand, we are in the free-for -all category anyways.

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R3 four flew: What's driving banks to flee blockchain consortium?

Schultz
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Go

Not cynical enough ...

There is a more fundamental problem for banks: they mainly exist as brokers of trust to facilitate the exchange of money. We trust the banks not to steal our money, we trust them to properly account for our money, we trust them to transfer it to somebody else (but only if we instruct them to do it), ...

If we don't need to trust anybody for storing or exchanging our money, it removes the need for traditional banks.

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Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Schultz
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2 north, 6 up. 8. ?!?

Not according to my geometry book.

2 m north + 6 m up = 6.3 m.

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Schultz
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Negative vacuum ...

Now wouldn't that require some kind of anti-particles? I mean real anti-particles (the ones we know behave just like ordinary particles and would mess up your vacuum).

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Schultz
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Theory or hypothesis?

If they didn't yet collect and analyse that data which would allow to test their theory, then it's more of a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a theory without supporting evidence.

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San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

Schultz
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Boffin

On the upside...

This one can ride out the next big earthquake on a comfy cushion of compactable landfill. That's how it was planned, right?

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'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe

Schultz
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"the mission was mostly successful because the lander almost reached the ground"

Indeed, it overachieved and landed 3.7 km early. Better early than late ...

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How to confuse a Euro-cop: Survey reveals the crypto they love to hate

Schultz
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"Torture can work when performed competently."

Care to share the literature that would support this statement?

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LAKE OF frozen WATER THE SIZE OF NEW MEXICO FOUND ON MARS – NASA

Schultz
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Go

Re: Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

Martian water has never been peed in. That's one thing it has over Earth water, aka Dinosaur pee".

Just trying to fit this into today's toilet-themed theRegister issue.

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Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Schultz
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Angel

...and I'd really like to get one for Christmas :D

Here you go: smart toilet seats for every taste. Make sure to choose a Samsung, their battery operated models have this new ultrafast drying function.

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Schultz
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Happy

Ever used a Walkman, CD player, another Japanese gadget?

The Stop button is denoted with a rectangle (■). As for the rest of the buttons, it never hurts to know a few dozen Chinese characters; 水 for water, 强大 for strong, or 弱 for weak. You could look those up (Google translator) in the time your bum gets restored to spanking clean.

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CompSci Prof raises ballot hacking fears over strange pro-Trump voting patterns

Schultz
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Stop

The good reason for investigating this issue...

is to ensure the validity of future elections, regardless of the outcome of this election.

It never cedes to amaze me that for many citizens (worldwide) and to the elReg commentards in this forum, the election process is discussed like a soccer match: my team won and I don't care if that referee decision was correct. The future of democracy, and thereby your ability to influence the future of your country, relies on a working democratic process. If you damage that process today, you might not have a working democracy in the future when it might be critical. Is it just for me, as a German, to see this as a problem?

Now somebody remind me again, why was it a good idea to replace paper ballots with voting machines in the first place?

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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

Schultz
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Great coding lessons ...

Let's spend time with complex programs that relate mouse clicks into virtual blocks (minecraft), or into moving stick figures (Apple contribution), that'll teach them ... what exactly?

What happened to the bottom-up approach? Press a button to light an LED. Build a little logic to relate pressing buttons to LEDs. Use an Arduino to take over the logic. Proceed to programming a weather station, or whatever fun project you might do with the kids. Won't happen in an hour of code, but it might leave a lasting impression.

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Stolen passwords integrated into the ultimate dictionary attack

Schultz
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Re: Sites also a problem

I find that generated random passwords with a slight sorting of characters and removal of some difficult-to-find special characters usually gives a decently typable password. Feel free to use any of my spares, (as long as you use them for your own account ;):

HAwwpy~QU356.uc

jazFURC=Lx+Gb143

iralwDQ+78wmCli

\99@NULC-J45xdc

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Samsung sets fire to $9m by throwing it at Tizen devs

Schultz
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Pocket change for Samsung ...

to keep the Tizen option alive. Maybe they'll need it some day. Maybe they'll stumble upon the killer app. Or maybe times / fashions change and they suddenly have a winner at hand.

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Alleged 2010 flash crash trader loses latest appeal against extradition to US

Schultz
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place a large 'buy'... and cancel the order."

"how it works, basically you place a large 'buy' and wait until the price goes up and then cancel the order."

NoNoNo,the usual flash dealer waits until your pension fund places an order, gets its own order in beforehand and then sells to your pension fund at an inflated price. It's completely different, nobody looses money (it's just pensions), it's fractions of penny's only in any case, so it doesn't count (don't ask about the billion dollar profit), and what were we talking about anyways? Oh right, those rogue criminals who think you can make personal profit by cheating he system when you are only allowed to make corporate profit by such means.

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UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Schultz
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Boffin

Not sure if that is a big comitment

So they'll ringfence the UK science budget. But scientists may still loose a lot of EU funding. Will they add former contributions to the EU science budget to future the UK science budget? Or maybe they hope to continue participating in the EU science programs (like Switzerland), but that might cost some extra money in the future: "From 2007 to 2013, the UK contributed an estimated €5.4 billion to EU research and development, according to the UK Office of National Statistics. During that time period, it received €8.8 billion in direct EU funding for research, development, and innovation".

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Soz, folklore fans! Negligence, not Nessie, sank WWI German sub

Schultz
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venting, ballast release are non-renewable...

I think that's why they didn't use those on proper zeppelins. A gas bottle and a pump makes your 'ballast' perfectly reusable.

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

Schultz
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FAIL

So no basic income after automation. How about...

basic income because it might fix a highly unbalanced wealth redistribution program run by the government? A lot of benefits are doled out based on complex and exploitable rules. A basic income concept would be simple and transparent and might fix that. It would also help to overcome regressive benefit/taxation models that currently keep a lot of unemployed or underemployed out of work.

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Cheer up Samsung! You might get back $400m for copying the iPhone

Schultz
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Go

Interesting patent war resolution from the supreme court?

The supreme court position may offer an effective solution to the patent wars:

Don't fix the patent system for design, software, electronic hardware, but simply remove the money from said system. There won't be a lawyer to litigate your patent case if there is no money in it. And there won't be any money in it if the patent claim value will be divided by a factor proportional to the number of relevant patents.

It'll kill the whole patent inflation issue right where the patent inflation occurs. It doesn't require any fundamental reform of the patent laws or patent office. And it'll leave the traditional patent system in place in the areas where it actually works. Sounds like a brilliant solution.

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French programmers haul Apple into court over developer rules

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Apple is a walled garden, get over it

Well, if you have a certain market share, then that 'walled garden' translates into a monopoly and should be broken up.

A "monopoly power exists when a single firm controls 25% or more of a particular market.". So Apple certainly has a monopoly position in some markets. It'll depend on French law whether they can get away with it.

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US govt straight up accuses Russia of hacking prez election

Schultz
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Facepalm

Evil Russians doing evil ...

with plausible deniability, of course. Good thing we have the angelic Americans to protect the world. And be assured, they are willing to do anything to protect you. (Including breaking any law, violate human rights and the Geneva convention, ...)

Call me cynical, but I am still looking for the good side. Sweden - but what about the Assange weirdness? Switzerland - if they wouldn't play safe harbor to all that criminal money. It's a crooked world out there.

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My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

Schultz
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Gerdesj: Dry water mist fire extinguisher

Sounds like an interesting idea, but it it not clear how that would improve on the CO2 fire extinguisher concept. If you use liquid water, the evaporation enthalpy will remove a lot of heat - that's why water is so great to fight fires. For atomized water, the heat capacity should be comparable to that of CO2, so it'll remove much less heat. Any further information on the concept?

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The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

Schultz
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" I don't even want a digital panel. A knob ... is a far more appropriate interface.

My microwave has exactly what you describe: a knob to set the time and a start and stop button.

There are, of course, a multitude of other buttons. But they are all labeled in Korean and I haven't bothered to figure out what they say. Life can be so easy ...

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HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

Schultz
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WTF?

Really gotta love Mr. Flaxman for his fine prose of business speak

"...dynamic security feature..." -- You won't know what hit you, stupid consumer.

"We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers to ensure the best consumer experience..." -- Some more bilk in that cowsumer? Lets ensure there is no more bilk in that consumer.

""We will continue to use security features..." -- There should be more milk in that consumer tomorrow. Prepare the bilking machine.

"...protect the quality of our customer experience..." -- Let's find that precise level of pain where that customer coughs up some more.

-------------

"protect its brand from infringement" -- How do I infringe the HP brand if I use a syringe to inject some extra ink into my cartridge?

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Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law?

Schultz
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Stop

Re: Grandstanding and fear mongering

"The FCC's authority over WiFi comes from the airwaves, which are a public resource/commons. They have no authority over private agreements.", "passively sniffing the wireless, and asking users to leave? Not the purview of the FCC."

I disagree: they try to restricting your use of said airwaves, so they infringe on a resource that the FCC supervises. There are rules governing the use of shared resources (water use, air pollution, mining, ... and airwaves) and you can't violate the rules even if you have some 'private agreement'.

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Schultz
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Stop

Just as it is against federal law to "jam" radio waves.

Wow, 'free radio waves'. Next thing you'll tell me that I can't charge you for the oxygen from my living-room ficus tree. Communism, here we come!

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6-in-10 punters return their self-destructing Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Schultz
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Refurbished Note 7

So where can I get one of the cheap refurbished Note 7 models with replaced (non-exploding) battery? There should be a few million of those floating around very soon.

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Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

Schultz
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Unhappy

Average temperature -55C, atmosphere almost 100% CO2.

The real problem is the lack of resources on Mars. On earth, we sit on the waste products from a few billion years of photosynthesis -- nice amounts of hydrocarbons, metals, amines, and oxygen. As a result we can eat, breathe, and dig up useful resources. It's the basis of stuff we call 'fire' and 'life' on earth.

On Mars, you have iron oxide and CO2 -- it's near the chemical equilibrium and there are few or no spontaneous chemical reactions. Chemistry won't be your friend, you'd have to bring the energy for every single chemical reaction you'd want to drive.

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Ever longed to be naked in Paris? City council votes TODAY

Schultz
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Re: HmHmmm

"… we disagree strongly. A sexual pervert is someone who does other naughty things and not what we do!" - every sexual pervert in history.

But your well-mannered western behavior is completely perverted according to other cultural standards. The question of what constitutes acceptable clothing is a purely cultural convention. Or do you have a particular reason to be offended by female beast and hairy male legs in white socks and sandals?

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Australian border cops say they've cracked 'dark net' drug sales

Schultz
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Holmes

Re: "someone will always decide the risks are worthwhile"

Well, that's business school 1-01: you have to take a risk to obtain some gain beyond the market rate. Ask your resident economist to explain rational business decisions to you and you might find that those black market dealers are perfectly rational human beings.

Your government might be less rational in sinking your tax dollars into the police/prison system. Interestingly, that system seems to get a lot worse when you involve the free market (private prisons, or profitable police). Ooh, economics is so complicated that you might mistake it for science.

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HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

Schultz
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If the printer had a big sticker "this only works with HP ink" ...

then they would be blatantly lying. Because the printer doesn't really care about the ink as long as it fulfills some basic specifications.

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Non-doms pay 10 times more in income tax than average taxpayer group

Schultz
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Thumb Down

"Non-doms make a highly valuable contribution to the UK economy" ...

by bringing their stolen money far far away from the (African / Asian / Russian) people that might or might not try to recover some. Let's face it, GB offers a safety for a lot of not so nice people and their suddenly acquired wealth. Only very polite questions asked. It surely doesn't make the world a better place and it stinks badly from the point of view of those whose wealth got skimmed off to London.

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IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world

Schultz
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Boffin

Alternatives to: THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY not LEFT BLANK

Are you reading this? Don't read this!

Move on, nothing to see here

Your kids can draw here

This page is just a waste of paper and the this text is just a waste of ink

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Schultz
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Go

Silly rules?

"Using the same link=breach logic you could also ban London buses when someone sings a Wham song in a bar in Magaluf."

Nooo, you got it all wrong. You have to make everybody pay a licensing fee to ride the offending bus when they hear the offending Wham song on speakerphone from the bar in Magaluf.

Win-win: The riders are happy (Music), the copyright holders are happy (Moneys!), Orlowski is happy (Copyright done Right), the weather is sunnier (in Magaluf, wherever that is), and the bus driver is unhappy, as always, so that's not your concern.

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Extra Bacon? Yes please, even though the Cisco bug of this name is bad for you

Schultz
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Alert

"Exploiting Extra Bacon while severe is complex and unreliable..."

Until a script kiddie automates the exploit and starts fishing. Want to bet how many community strings might be guessed? I quote from the depth of the net:

By convention, most SNMPv1-v2c equipment ships from the factory with a read-only community string set to "public". It is standard practice for network managers to change all the community strings to customized values in the device setup.

We all know about 'standard practice'. Might be interesting to hear from commentards with deeper insight about this issue.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise in talks to offload software, asking for '$8bn to $10bn'

Schultz
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"Income != profit"

Well, if it's software and you are willing to minimize future development, you might wring out a few years of income $\approx$ profit. Add the few customers that are locked in for the near future and this might be a decent money spinner.

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When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

Schultz
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Government overhead

The government overhead goes into paying the tax collector and the minister salary. Your voting indirectly controls that overhead.

Somehow I fail to see how that is more despicable than the overhead in private companies. Especially when you think about toga parties and such.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Schultz
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"Their accounting and tax may be legal"

Or maybe not. The EU commission found that the Ireland headquarter was a fictitious entity, set up purely to avoid taxes. In many countries, it is illegal to do such a thing. Consider what might happen to you when you just make up stuff in your tax return declaration to avoid paying your share.

I believe that Apple might be in quite some trouble once the national tax authorities in the rest of the world wake up. Good thing they got some money in the bank to get this sorted out :).

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Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Schultz
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"Taxing company profit is just asking for tangled avoidance schemes"

And taxing private income does exactly the same (although most private citizens have a little less budget to pay tax-avoidance lawyers).

Apart from simply collecting money, another role of taxation is to keep the money flowing to productive use. That's why there are investment tax breaks. Again, that's not so different for private and company capital.

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Watt the USB-C logo?

Schultz
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Re: Who buys chargers?

Well, it might help you to decide whether you want to charge your phone with the tablet charger, the tablet with the power supply of the little fan that looked so cute in the store,...

I have a good number of chargers in different locations and usually plug whatever device in my hand into the nearest charger. My understanding is that this behavior might be quite dangerous with the new USB standard.

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Email proves UK boffins axed from EU research in Brexit aftermath

Schultz
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" Moedas regards funding as a privilege"

No, the situation us much simpler: Research groups in the UK remain eligible for EU funding, but they don't have a legal right to get funded. Just like all those other research groups throughout the EU who happen to not get included in a EU funded project.

UK researcher used to be among the first choice partners for EU projects (everybody likes a reliable British partner). Now they dropped a few places - you just don't know if they'll be along to do their share of the work. A lot of eastern-EU countries had that problem all along (uncertainties due to political instability), so welcome I the club of Romania, Bulgaria, etc.

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Boffins shrink light-twister to silicon scale, multiply bandwidth 10x

Schultz
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How does polarity pertain to chirality of spiral light?

Simple: Spiral light == circularly polarized light.

There is no separate chiral/spiral property of light and you have been suckered by the use of fancy new language to describe boring old concepts (TM).

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Schultz
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Boffin

Vaporware

There are some problems with the "10-fold increased bandwidth". Fortunately, the boffins were not required to transmit 10x more data to publish their paper, but a bit of pixie-dust did the job all-right. Let me explain why this is vaporware (you'll need some patience to go through the following explanation).

Physics tells us that there are three spatial dimensions (for simplicity, let's call them x,y, and z). One dimension will be the propagation direction of the light beam (usually we'd call that the z axis) and we can now freely choose any polarization state and position in the x and y axis.

Any polarization state sounds like a big amount of freedom, doesn't it? Hey let's use it to transfer data! That's the underlying concept of the orbital angular momentum = increased bandwith community. Unfortunately, there are only two spatial dimensions, so the sum of two polarization states (with respective amplitude and phase properties) are sufficient to describe any possible polarization. Commonly, physicists would describe that 'any polarization' state as a sum of x- and y- polarized light, or (perfectly equivalent) as a sum of right-handed and left-handed circularly polarized light. The circularly polarized description is better, it describes the same physics but it allows us to talk about angular momentum and that does sound great! Back to that great freedom of 'any polarization' . The laws of physics boil it down to only two distinct polarization states and that is surely a bit disappointing (where is my factor 10!?).

Now a smart kid might argue that we should relax a little and look beyond x and y: why not use some +-45 (= pi/4) degree angles between x and y as a third and fourth polarization state? Bandwidth, here we come! Unfortunately, those +-45 degree photons have a big propensity to be observed as either 0 degrees (x-axis) polarized photons or 90 degrees (y-axis) polarized photons. So we'll have to collect many photons to tell the difference between our four polarization states and that will slow us down sufficiently to destroy all the extra information we wanted to send along.

How about using the light phase to transmit data? The phase of a photon can take any value between 0 and 360 degrees, so all we have to do is encode information in there. Unfortunately, the phase is only a meaningful concept if we can relate it to a common time frame. If I wait for 1/4 of the period of the light wave (some 3.3 femtoseconds for micrometer wavelength light in your glass fiber), then the phase will be shifted by 90 degrees. We have no detectors that could directly detect such tiny time/phase-shifts of an electromagnetic wave. The only practical way to determine such shifts is to overlap two beams of light and observe their interference (two identical beams will destruct one another if their phase is shifted by 180 degrees). But if we need to send two beams to make use of the phase information, then we might as well use the second beam to transmit data independently. It turns out that the maximum amount of information that can be transferred does not change if we use simple interferometric tricks.

Now you should be ready for the big question. If the simple physics just gives us a factor 2 through polarization and nothing from the phase, how do those boffins magically increase the information bandwidth of light? (They do so on paper at least.) And the answer is simple again: They spatially displace the beam along the x and y axis. Imagine you send beams to different spots -- you could use a separate detector at each target spot and, with 100 detectors, you could increase the information 100-fold! Sounds magical? Not really, it sounds a bit trivial. (Aren't those boring telecoms already using fiber bundles to send multiplexed data?) But that's just because the idea was badly presented.

Let me try again. Imagine we use some interference tricks to control the direction of the light beams. I am sure you have heard about light diffraction, holographic gratings, and other magical tricks. No need to understand them, it's just some interference tool to control the direction of light waves and a few dollars can get you yours! Use this holographic magic to control the x/y spatial direction of the propagating light and you can start aiming at your 100 detectors. Now stop talking about space, that's a bit boring. We use light-waves, and space can be perfectly described as the Fourier domain of an interference mask. Even better, let's describe the interference in terms of circularly polarized states and angular momentum. Remember, I told you the circularly polarized description sounds better! So now we use orbital angular momentum to multiplex the bandwidth of information transmission. That does sound quite nice, doesn't it? Sprinkle some math describing the light interference onto paper and, voila, you get a tenfold increase in bandwidth, together with a science paper and lots of attention.

To be fair, the authors never talk about a tenfold increase in information bandwidth in their paper. So maybe we should assume that the general press (including TheRegister) mis-interpreted the word "potential in the manuscript. Or maybe nobody bothered to read the article, after all there is a press release, which is "able to carry 10 times or more the amount of information than that of conventional l̶a̶s̶e̶r̶s̶ " scientific publications.

It's not the first time I wrote about OAM information transfer magic in the comments. Hello, Richard Chirgwin, are you reading this? It's almost as much fun as the information teleportation magic. But now I ask TheRegister to cease and desist that nonsense for at least 2 weeks, or else I'll spam your comment section with 100 pages from the Messiah. The real Messiah.

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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

Schultz
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Bodhi, which came out yesterday ...

Funny, I remember playing with Bodhi a good number of years ago. In the end, Bodhi took a bit too much disk space on the 1st generation disk-less netbook, so the kids get to play with Puppy Linux instead.

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The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

Schultz
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I got to take the side of Mrs. Schultz in this one ...

I know her to be completely honest. Same as my other 12532658 relatives out there!

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Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

Schultz
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Go

But they did work!

Comprehensive testing showed that the devices correctly identified random samples of explosives and nonexplosives some 50% of the time.

That's better than nothing, innit?

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European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Schultz
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Trollface

Decryption, ... monitoring, ... of communications should be prohibited.

Let's keep the fingers crossed that this makes it into the laws.

So should we expect separate software releases for the EU market anytime soon? Just as in the times of the Cryptowars (90s), only this time around the EU gets the real encryption and the Anglo-Saxons get the back-doored version. Surely the EU market is large enough to justify a separate version of MS Windows and Android and those companies wouldn't want to be seen violating the laws of the land.

Truly interesting times coming up!

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Schultz
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Boffin

"EU rules still apply until we've actually left."

Indeed, and the EU rules require a convincing proposal and budget before multiyear research projects are funded. Nobody wants to waste money on projects that will be unsuccessful because they were cancelled halfway through. Even if this is not topic of the daily headlines, the EU tries very hard not to waste money. It's kind of obvious that research sites that cannot guarantee a stable research environment for the coming years will take a hit in funding. The other EU countries contributing to the EU research budget would be righteously pissed if the EU threw their limited resources into projects without a future.

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