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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers

Graham Dawson
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Re: Terry Pratchett gets the patent though...

There's a lot of fascinating stuff in those books. I shouldn't be surprised really - Bringing two of writing's greatest minds and smashing them together between a single hardcover was bound to produce something spectacular.

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Graham Dawson
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Ah but the thing is, when you're writing you don't want to be distracted by petty things like spelling and grammar. That's something you worry about when you're editing afterwards (before you send it to the editor for ritual dismemberment).

Writing and editing are fundamentally different modes of thought. When you're writing you don't want to be interrupted, and the squiggly red lines and things are all distractions that interrupt the flow of your thoughts.

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Space Station in CRISIS: Furious Russia threatens to BAN US from ISS

Graham Dawson
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Re: I wonder if...

In four years SpaceX will be well into the general commercial market anyway. They're using the ISS trips to test Dragon for eventual use in their own plans for Mars - the government money is just gravy.

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Oracle vs Google redux: Appeals court says APIs CAN TOO be copyrighted

Graham Dawson
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Re: Copyrights protection for real code vs patents of trivial ideas - what is more evil?

The difference there was that Microsoft licensed the java trademarks and IP to create their own VM with the Java name attached to it. They were contractually obliged to implement the full spec. When they didn't implement the spec properly and left it broken, they were in breach of that contract, and Sun sued over improper use of trademarks and copyrights for the actual substance of the machine.

Not the API.

Google didn't enter a license agreement with Sun/Oracle. Instead they created their own Virtual Machine called Dalvik, which implements a subset of the Java API. They don't use the Java trademarks.

In Microsoft's case, they breached contract. In Google's case there was no contract to breach. The situation isn't even remotely comparable.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Probably the death knell of the "industry"

They did, and in the end the settled out of court, presumably because Spotify realised it couldn't afford to match MoS's legal budget.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Probably the death knell of the "industry"

What subtleties? An API is a list of function names. It's a set of ingredients for making application soup.

Lists aren't granted copyright protection.

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Watch out, Yahoo! EFF looses BADGER on sites that ignore Do Not Track

Graham Dawson
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Re: @ h4rm0ny GOOD.

That's Muphry's Law: if you correct someone else's spelling or comment on it in any way, you will make a typo yourself.

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SpaceX touts latest gear: new module, rocket demo

Graham Dawson
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Watch it while listening to the Thunderbirds theme.

In fact here's a convenient mashup! http://youtubedoubler.com/ckCG

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

Graham Dawson
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Re: This:

I rarely listen to the radio these days - since Wogan quit the morning show I've really not had much interest (which says plenty about me, I suppose) but sometimes, just sometimes, I end up listening to the Jeremy Vine show and I always regret it. You can usually work out what the BBC's editorial line is on a subject by which of his guests he decides to argue with.

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FCC seeks $48K fine from mobile phone-jamming driver

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

Re: Yo, Jason!

Ok, so all these cars with built-in mobile telephony for their nav and streaming media and whatnot, all those people using properly secure phones or tablets as GPS, or hands-free, or passengers using their devices, or all those GPS devices that use the same frequencies to provide live updates for traffic information...

These are all just collateral damage, I suppose.

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Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival

Graham Dawson
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Firefox has had one-click bookmarking (through a star no less) for ages. I realise there's a lot of chrome-like things going on here, but try not to get over-excited.

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No longer a 'hobby', Apple TV rakes in ONE BEEELLION DOLLARS

Graham Dawson
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Re: something tells me..

UK billion vs US billion (which is a milliard, or short billion).

We even speak mathematics differently...

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Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery

Graham Dawson
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The lb, the kilo, and all such things are measures of mass first and foremost. Weight is the meadurement of the force gravity applies to mass.

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A premium smartie lump: Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

Graham Dawson
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That's rather tempting.

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Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS

Graham Dawson
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Re: I thought Space-X were supposed to be making space flight cheaper...

The reason the space shuttle cost so much was because it was operationally crippled by requirements imposed on it by the US military. They wanted cross-range capability and cargo return abilities that the shuttle never actually ended up using.

Basically, government meddling and "big bang" project implementation. The entire thing was an experimental vehicle that wasn't expected to stay in use for as long as it did.

Musk's plan is to introduce re-usability incrementally, which is a much more sensible option. He's already brought the cost of space flight down significantly. Being able to return and re-use the stage engines will bring that cost down even further.

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Graham Dawson
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Boffin

Re: I thought Space-X were supposed to be making space flight cheaper...

No no no no, you miss the point entirely. Those legs are to hold on to the sky hooks so they can reduce the amount of fuel they need to get into orbit.

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Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen

Graham Dawson
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I have an N810 lying around, but there's no support for the thing. At all. Even the community support has gone up in smoke.

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Icahn, but Iwont: Carl the investor pest ends war with eBay

Graham Dawson
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Re: So...

Neither nor. He's in the business of destroying things for personal gain.

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Chrome makes new password grab in version 34

Graham Dawson
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Re: @article author: reading comprehension FAIL

From the spec itself*:

"A user agent may allow the user to override an element's autofill field name, e.g. to change it from "off" to "on" to allow values to be remembered and prefilled despite the page author's objections, or to always "off", never remembering values. However, user agents should not allow users to trivially override the autofill field name from "off" to "on" or other values, as there are significant security implications for the user if all values are always remembered, regardless of the site's preferences."

In other words, google are following the spec to the letter on this one.

*source http://www.w3.org/TR/html51/forms.html#attr-fe-autocomplete

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Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Just to be on the safe side...

HAAANNNN!!!

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Graham Dawson
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Re: Frustration makes people angry

Also cold.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Def - So, let me get this right...

Should systemd be filing the kernel debug log with garbage? No.

Are Linux and co discussing a rate limiter on the kernel debug log? Yes! And even with the very draconian limits they tested, only one program actually hit them. Guess which.

Go read the full thread. It's enlightening - it's also clear that, far from simply shouting, Linus was very restrained and entirely justified in every statement he made.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: So, let me get this right...

It's putting the kernel in debug mode, not the entire system.

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Re: @ Graham Dawson - Am I the only one ....

I suppose I could run away and pretend I never said it.

I admit, I derped. Hard.

Roll on the weekend...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Am I the only one ....

Yes. Your current phone charger is also capable of delivering 100 watts.

It's a meaningless statement without a time component.

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Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Graham Dawson
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Absolutely. My xperia pro is still serving well, despite the aged OS. I've been considering dropping jellybean on it but I have no idea how well it would perform.

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US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

Graham Dawson
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Re: "They have supplies to keep them in orbit for many, many days,"

Th Soyuz carries crew. IISS supplies are taken up in separate, dedicated craft.

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Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus?

Graham Dawson
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Certainly a pain for poor William...

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TEN THINGS Google believes you believe about Glassholes and wishes you didn't

Graham Dawson
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So you have an objection to being viewed through a lens attached to a memory store and a set of mechanisms capable of transmitting the information stored there received to third parties?

Seems fair.

So should we ban people from locker rooms, or just surgically remove their eyes?

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Graham Dawson
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Re: Deiberately missing the point???

You keep going on about these "rich landowners", as if all rental properties in the entire country are owned by some old-world duke on horseback waving a riding crop at everyone who dares look him in the eye.

You have absolutely no idea of the economics of the rental market. I was going to wheel out a big pile of statistics of who owns most of the rental properties in the country (a hint: they are not rich) and explain just how little money renting actually brings in, but frankly it's not worth the effort. You'd either ignore it or resort to knocking down another legion of strawmen in your response.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

Graham Dawson
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Re: And somewhere in the multiverse

Upon which can be found a disc, containing a city in which there is a university, home to the Disc's first computer and a tiny globe enclosing an entire universe...

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US govt: You, ICANN. YOU can run the internet. We quit

Graham Dawson
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Cron I have never used you before. I have no commands for it. No-one, not even you, will grep if we were good users or bad, why we hacked, or why we logged out. All that matters is that two sysadmins stood against the lusers, that's what's important. Consistency pleases you, cron, so grant me one request. Grant me file integrity! And if you do not listen, then to /dev/null with you!

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Graham Dawson
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Excellent! Just one small question. Do you own a guitar?

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Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

Graham Dawson
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Sony Ericsson xperia pro. :) Though I've yet to find a phone that will be able to replace it when it dies.

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US judge Koh won't ban old Samsung gear, tells Apple: Your patents aren't that amazing

Graham Dawson
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Mushroom

Re: The problem with "thermonuclear war

A curious game...

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

Graham Dawson
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Re: Meter

The foot was not based on anyone's actual foot. It's a silly myth made sillier by the fact that the measurement has been near-constant since minoan times. It's only the French that ever changed it (leading to the myth that Napoleon was short).

You can derive the foot from the motion of the stars:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/making-an-english-foot/

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/chasing-the-greek-foot/

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Apple granted patent for two-faced iPhone with wraparound touchscreen

Graham Dawson
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Samsung had patented and were tossing around similar ideas - including mock-up prototypes - over a year ago.

Nice try though.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Graham Dawson
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Re: Question to someone sciencey.

Who said anything about high pressure tanks? You only need to compress it enough to reduce buoyancy, which wouldn't take much pressure at all.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Not interested unless....

And powered by the reincarnation of a mongolian bicycle repair man named after a time monk.

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Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Costs

@AC, Since they figured out that running away from the bullets and blockading calais tends to get positive results for the French.

One good example: They dropped out of the Eurofighter program early on and built their own Rafale instead. It came out lighter, more manoeuvrable, more versatile, capable of carrier service from the start, cheaper and was flying sooner - and they didn't have to faff around waiting for guns to arrive after the plane was officially in service.

They know their stuff, the French.

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You’re a LIAR and a CHEAT... la-la-la, I can't hear your lawyers

Graham Dawson
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Re: Good article @trollslayer

Bated. You only have baited breath if you're a cat who ate some cheese to attract the mice.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

Graham Dawson
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Re: It is rather sad

Algebra is an arabic word, but the mathematics it names come from India. As do our numbers. Arabs didn't invent these things (or the 0, before someone leaps in with that myth).

I'm getting very tired of all this cultural one-upmanship and willy waving going on these days. Mediaeval Europe wasn't a barbaric cesspit and the arabs weren't enlightened beings bringing science to the unwashed masses. Both sides advanced and retreated at different times and in different ways.

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Harvard student thrown off 14,000-core super ... for mining Dogecoin

Graham Dawson
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Re: A++?

much boldy, very go, such space. wow.

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Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

Graham Dawson
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Re: Value, what value?

Vince, are you seriously saying you want the government to start setting prices for these things? Think about who would have the most influence over that price? It won't be resellers or owners. It'll be members of FAST, and the only price they'll tolerate for second-hand licenses will be one so low that reselling is no longer viable. Preferably zero.

At the moment the market determines a price for second-hand licenses and the system works quite well.

I never understand this urge people have to say "there should be a law". It's like they don't realise who writes the damn things.

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Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

Graham Dawson
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It's also worth mentioning that hydrogen is ridiculously reactive with just about anything you use to store it. Liquified, it only contains about a quarter of the energy by volume as petrol, and even to achieve that requires cryogenic cooling. Compression adds to the complexity and the danger, because now you have a cryogenic, highly reactive liquid stored at high pressure. It's pretty much just a bomb waiting to go off at that point.

And to top it off, hydrogen leaks through just about ever seal we can contrive.

The only way to store hydrogen effectively is to stabilise it in a compound. You can oxidise it and get water. Or you could pick some other element, something known to form stable bonds through a wide range of temperatures. Carbon, for instance.

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'The Mystery of the Martian Doughnut' solved by NASA sleuths

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Graham Dawson

Given these are all issues that need to be overcome anyway if we're ever to get a permanent presence off this rock, I don't quite understand your objection.

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Graham Dawson
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To me this highlights why we ultimately need people up there alongside the rovers. It takes days to figure out what this is due to the restricted view and restricted motion, whilst a chap standing there and looking directly at it could figure it out in moments.

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Graham Dawson - Leave it out

Avoidance is not paying taxes that you aren't required to pay. What's unethical or immoral about that? Expecting people to fork over money they don't owe is what's immoral.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Leave it out

I like the way you tried to conflate evasion (illegal) and avoidance (entirely legal) as the same thing.

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Mozilla takes a page from Google with sync-friendly Firefox Accounts

Graham Dawson
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@anon

I've had one running for two years now and it wasn't that difficult to set up. Nightmare? Maybe if you're scared of text...

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