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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1530 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Socket to 'em: It's the HomeGrid vs HomePlug powerline prizefight

Graham Dawson
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The reason I mentioned the circuit protective conductor specifically and not just "the earth" is because the illustration shows the CPC being used as a signalling bus, which introduces a fault current, which potentially triggers fuses and RCDs and makes the system dangerous in the process. Functional earth isn't connected to the circuit protective conductor and nor should it be - and neither is a functional earth used to protect circuits or prevent the living of exposed metal parts. It's completely irrelevant to what I said because I was talking about protective earthing. And if you can show me a protective conductor that's carrying current in allegedly non-fault conditions I'll be very surprised, because it's both highly illegal and extremely dangerous.

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Graham Dawson
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Ok so it took me ages to realise that the odd tweet-counter-looking thing was a link to the comments. Enough with the secret sauce, guys!

The phasing issue the first illustration highlights is uniquely american. It's extremely rare for a domestic supply to have two phases and a neutral to the breaker box. You will see blocks of flats and apartments getting two phases but the individual breaker boxes all have a single phase. Even a lot of commercial isntallations will only have one phase.

Am I the only one that thinks using the CPC as a signalling wire is asking for serious trouble? The whole point of protective conductor is that it only carries current if you have a fault condition in order protect the installation and facilitate ending that fault condition. Quite apart from the possibility of tripping breakers for "no reason", sending signals down the CPC is deliberately introducing a fault current into all the exposed metalwork in the entire installation. A system like that will kill people sooner or later. I don't care if they're saying there's some limit on the current - it only takes one overcurrent at the right time.

And of course the liability for that falls not on the owner, or even the person who sold them the plug, but on whoever installed and inspected the installation.

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

Graham Dawson
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Re: Originality?

Originality died with Homer. Everything since then has been fanfiction.

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Android gets tipsy on Wine, runs WINDOWS apps

Graham Dawson
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Re: running on a Mac which was itself running an Android emulator

Ah, you can't fool me, it's VMs all the way down!

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Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

Graham Dawson
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Re: "You are all individuals!"

Shh!

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Space Shuttle Columbia disaster remembered 10 years on

Graham Dawson
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Given the speeds involved it's unlikely they even felt it.

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Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be FINE

Graham Dawson
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@Burb Re: I was in bed last night fantasizing away....

And yet they're still both negative. This isn't a semantic argument, it's the scientific meaning of the words. Acids are acids, bases are bases. If you are reducing your basic content you aren't "acidifying", you are debasing or neutralising. You only acidify something when you pass neutral.

besides it's all moot anyway. If the oceans warm they can't hold as much CO2 even with a higher partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. This "acidification" of the oceans and global warming are mutually exclusive events.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: I was in bed last night fantasizing away....

And then you went away to read about bases, avids and relative ph levels and realised you were fantasizing a great steaming pile of bunk.

The oceans are basic. They have shown a very slight shift towards neutral, but there is a greater difference in ph between the arctic and equator. They are not acidifying in the slightest.

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Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

Graham Dawson
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Re: More Leach tripe.

New variation on "if you've nothing to hide" hmm?

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Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

Graham Dawson
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Re: Next stop: A language based on either Elvish or Klingon

Elvish? Klingon? Old hat. Go look up FiM++ if you want real crazy.

Also, I feel I should long point that Arabic odds disconnect from OPs complained-about languages in that it is not constructed, but add-on actual, living tongue.

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Twitter must unmask racist French twits or face $1,300-a-DAY fine

Graham Dawson
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Re: The Right to Free Speech

How, exactly, do words oppress someone?

The right to free speech is precisely what it says: the right to speak. You may exercise responsibility along with that right if you wish, but the right itself is nothing more or less than what it is: we have vocal cords, we can use them. It has no moral or ethical dimension, it is simply an acknowledgement of the natural state of the world. Codified in law, it becomes a requirement that the state not interfere with that right.

Free speech is one of the natural rights (or god-given rights if you're so inclined), also known as negative rights. A negative right has no requirement that others give up their rights to support yours. I can speak freely all day without anyone having to give up anything in order to support that right. No sacrifice of another's rights must be made to grant me my freedom of speech.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Fascism / Communism

Actually, in French (and most european) law the court is part of the goverTment. You're presumably thinking in terms of adversarial separation of powers, a very anglo-saxon idea that just never caught on amongst the continentals.

This has odd results. English courts can set and overturn law by precedent because they function in opposition to the legislature and the executive, whilst Courts in France can't (having no ability to set precedent in the first place), because they acknowledge the supremacy of the legislative assembly and executive power. They function as an arm of government, implementing and enforcing the law. They can overturn law, but the law can simply be restated by the legislature, whereas an English court setting a precedent in an area of law can often force the legislature to abandon future attempts to craft law in that area as the courts would simply deny their legitimacy based on prior precedent.

Of course this all ignores the point the original poster was trying to make, and that he would have made much better if he had replaced "the government" with "the state". Courts form part of the apparatus of The State, along with the legislature, executive, armed forces, police and various other bits and bobs. The State, in this case represented by the Courts, is becoming more oppressive and thus more like the stasi. Though the better comparison would be the entire state apparatus of the GDR rather than just its internal security enforcement branch.

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Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Graham Dawson
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Re: Efficiently on par with real plants

Plants are passé. You can't make a big "We're saving the world!" splash just by waving a tree at people, you have to be technological about it.

It's all a sop to green investment funds and politicians looking to shovel more subsidy at anything that looks even remotely environmentalist, and never mind the consequences. Or the costs. Or anything.

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Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

Graham Dawson
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Re: Touch

Oddly enough, the greasy finger marks don't show up so clearly on a matte screen.

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Opera sings WebKit's tune for new mobile browser

Graham Dawson
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Re: F**k Opera

In settings, check "pinch to reflow text" and there you go. Maybe it's only in ff beta, I don't use anything else.

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Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

Graham Dawson
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Re: Shiny!

You can't take this guy from me...

What?

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Smarm-bot Siri seeks side-splitting script-writer for charm transplant

Graham Dawson
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Re: Voice of the balls

"Brain the size of a planet and you're using me to ask about the weather. Windows were invented for a reason you know. Next you'll be asking me when you should breathe in and out. Humans seem so pointless sometimes."

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Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link

Graham Dawson
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@strum Re: Plan B? Plan C?

American? Shows what you know strum.

Perhaps you should go and read up a little on the natural rights of man.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: @ Greg Preece

How do you feel about the first amendment, Mooseman? Or the fourth and fifth? Or perhaps the eighth? All of them are over 200 years old. Are they irrelevant now because of that?

Or are you going to start picking and choosing? IN which case you need a better reason than "200 years old" to dismiss these rights.

The security of a free state is no less relevant now than it was then - but that security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed.

I get the feeling you've not read the Federalist Papers. These documents discussed the intent of the framers of the US constitution in some detail, and much of that intent was to provide the people with every possible means to overthrow their government if it became tyrannical.

Incidentally, Parliament ignoring old laws that restricted its power are the reason we're in such a cocked-up state right now. Parliament overstepped its legal bounds decades ago by ignoring its foundational documents; the Bill of Rights 1689 (go look it up) and the Act of Settlement placed limits on Parliament's authority and on the King, and restated certain constitutional rights such as the right to move unmolested by agents of the king, the right to bear arms and the right to be free of "unusual punishment", amongst other things. Today these laws are ignored - because they're "old", is the usual excuse, yet they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first drafted, and if they were observed instead of ignored we'd be a much more free and prosperous country.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

The US constitution doesn't "give" them anything. The bill of rights is informing Congress of areas where it shall not legislate to restrict rights that were deemed to be the natural rights of man. Those rights boil down to the right to speech, self-defence and property.

These three are the fundamental rights on which civilisation was built. The world progresses when these rights are held inviolate, and regresses when they are proscribed and infringed.

For the record the president is not allowed to legislation per the constitution. Executive orders have always walked a fine line in this regard and many of them were unconstitutional in their scope (especially quite a few of those issued by Bush toward the end of his second term) even if they had been created by the House. The use of an executive order to infringe on the second amendment is opening Obama up to a lot of potential legal difficulty.

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Scientists spin carbon nanotube threads on industrial scale

Graham Dawson
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Re: Woohoo!

The voltage difference between each end will be rather impressive. You could probably prevent most of the issues you're thinking of by using it as a power source.

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Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Graham Dawson @John Deeb

That logic doesn't even remotely follow. Blaming the judicial system for being the causative agent of his depression is constructive in that it identifies the most likely source of his illness. His parents and his family were not acting in ways that could trigger depression; they were passive participants at best, and unaware of his mental state. The judges and the judicial system were active participants in the events and did not need to be aware of his mental state in order to cause it.

That's the difference.

That's why the judicial system can be asked to shoulder responsibility for the outcome.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: @John Deeb

AC: Depression often looks nothing like depression from the outside. In fact it can look completely the opposite. Real depression, the serious stuff (not the "oh my boyfriend dumped me and I got a C on my test I'm so depressed!!!" sort) often looks more like exhaustion, cynicism or even a strange sort of joy. When you're depressed you think you've finally discovered the truth about the world.

Blaming the family is not remotely constructive. They probably didn't even know.

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Computers are 'electronic cocaine' that make you MANIC

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Re: Quick...

Nnnooo, it's making a subtle joke about the article.

Woosh.

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Bubble baron treats Space Station crew to blowup model

Graham Dawson
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As much as any other ISS module. They have a special radiation shelter for a reason.

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Ten stars of CES 2013: Who made the biggest splash?

Graham Dawson
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Re: ASUS have a winner for me anyway ...

If the windows can be replaced with a linux distro I'll be all over that thing like a rash.

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Largest ever spiral galaxy spotted - may give birth to dwarf baby

Graham Dawson
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Re: They haven't yet..

Bacon fried in butter, one boiled egg and a pile of roasted almonds will cure that hangover right off. Guaranteed.

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A pre-ticked box in web forms should NOT mean consent - EU report

Graham Dawson
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Stop

Re: All seems very sensible

Given that privacy legislation is a sole EU competence (partially under the lisbon treaty and partially under european human rights legisation that became our human rights act), and given it doesn't allow any subsidiarity in this particular area, it's not so much "hooray for the EU" as "we could have done this years ago if they weren't sitting on it".

Ever wondered why UK privacy reform is so mealy-mouthed and bitty? They're having to work around the fringes of the problem because the EU doesn't allow national parliaments to act on this issue any more, so instead they legislate in areas where they can at least appear to be doing something. That's why were getting loas of bullshit laws criminalising everything and levying fines on everything else.

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Scientists snap first film of giant squid in action

Graham Dawson
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I remember when everyone claimed these giant squid were just a myth. Happy days.

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Canadian astronaut warns William Shatner of life on Earth

Graham Dawson
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Have the got a rocket big enough?

Oh of course, they can buoy it up with his ego.

(Don't get me wrong, I like Bill, it's just he's such an enormously easy target...)

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Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Can't be.

Good choice.

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It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

Graham Dawson
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Re: needs shake-up in own apps

The shutter control.

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Hm, nice idea that. But somebody's already doing it less well

Graham Dawson
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Re: @But do we actually need all this progress?

Except, of course, the little problem that is never acknowledged: the European economies had begun making all of the changes necessary to bring about this new peaceful era in the aftermath of world war 2, before even the Coal and Steel union between France and Germany was put into place, never mind the EU, which wouldn't be implemented until the mid 90s. The EU was late to the party, claimed credit for something it had nothing to do with, and in the end spent most of its time fighting over which of its presidents would get to hold the prize certificate and who'd pocket the cash.

The EU and the EEC before it did nothing to create peace in Europe. They rode on the post-war economic boom that was brought about by rapid (and necessary) cooperation and integration between the nations of Europe, then claimed they were responsible for it, when in reality they've done the most to rein it in and crush it with their constant regulation.

And the nobel peace prize wasn't meant to be awarded to organisations anyway. It's right there in the charter for the damn thing.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Ahem

You should have got in sewer ants against that.

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Tibetan monks lose their TVs as China's censors raid monasteries

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

Re: My karma just ran over my dogma

And you have the gall to compare other people to the nazis?

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When your squash partner 'endorses' your coding skills on LinkedIn...

Graham Dawson
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Re: Two thumbs up

You forgot apple.

I was goig to say "you forgot mirosoft" too, but nobody likes Microsoft.

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Graham Dawson
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I thought it was bad when they invented the A* rating at GCSE. Never understand that.

I still don't.

Must be why I get such a snippy attitude on ebay all the time. "Will purchase from this seller again" probably means I want to murder their dog and eat their children these days.

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Senate votes to continue FISA domestic spying through 2017

Graham Dawson
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Legitimising systematic abuse of your population through legislation does not make it good.

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Christmas ruined for 2,100 sex offenders booted off online games

Graham Dawson
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Re: Guess these subsibers are feeling like those who ...

Perhaps someone said they didn't like paying the licence fee.

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The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Re: Android

Linux is not "fragmented". It is adapted to multiple environments and capable of running the same tools and applications on the vast majority of them. Those environments where you can't run, say, Konqueror are probably not suited for desktop browsing in the first place.

To pick a random example, I could run abiword on my old n900, my desktop computer and, with a bit of tinkering, my router. Okay, a lot of tinkering, and it's probably not much fun running a word processor and all the other bits necessary to make that happen on a router, over a vnc session. It would be a dog.

But that's sort of the point. Linux doesn't fragment. You wouldn't want to have the exact same user experience across divergent devices. By the logic you're employing, Apple is fragmented because it has completely different user interfaces on iOS and OSX and can't run the same applications. It's a laughably stupid argument, yes? So why are you making the exact same laughably stupid argument about Linux?

Merry boxingmas.

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Graham Dawson
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> Asus Transformer?

Marvellous machine. Mine is still going strong after nearly two years. I think. I've written an entire novel on it. I'm considering replacing it with a padphone or one of those fancy slender models Asus do, at which point I'll likely start experimenting with some version of Linux + KDE just to see how well it works.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: The big problem...

That should be UI, not GUI... oh well. Silly fingers. :D

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Graham Dawson
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Re: The big problem...

No, the unix philosophy is one program, one task. Text is the interface. You just made the same mistake as the author, confusing the GUI with the OS.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Android

My only two gripes about Android are the way it manages multitasking and the way Android-based systems are so locked down. I like to get a command-line interface to play with because I'm a tinkerer, but rooting and installing a terminal emulator gives me a lot of options in that regard. The multitasking issue is more fundamental. A few times, to begin with, I lost quite a lot of writing on my Asus transformer because I switched away from the app without saving and came back later to find it had been dumped from active memory and lost all my work.

Frustrating.

Other than the enforced "save all the time" regime, which is good practice anyway, I have almost no complaints. Now if only I could get jellybean on my phone...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: KDE/Plasma is a much better contender

Likewise. I saw a demo of Plasma on the n900 some time back and it looked rather spiffy, albeit a little slow as it wasn't particularly optimised. It did all the necessaries though.

Given a little time it could easily contend with Android for the mobile space.

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Graham Dawson
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Pint

The writer seems to have an odd view of linux as basically just Gnome + Unity. KDE (yes, yes, I went there) is wonderfully touch-friendly and a very different user experience to gnome. Just as widespread, too.

But then, you see, that still makes the mistake of thinking Linux = UI. Android is Linux. Simple as. It's a fork of the kernel - but it's slowy being merged back into the trunk - sitting under all the same userspace tools, or at least a large subset of them, and it has a fancy Java-based UI on top. In that sense it's no different to Ubuntu, it just has more market penetration in the tablet space.

So the Linux tablet is already here. What we don't have is a gnome tablet, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. I don't want a gome tablet. I'd be rather keen on a KDE/Plasma tablet, but I have an android tablet. And they are all (or would be) Linux tablets.

Now back to the boxing day belly-ache. Turkey sandwich anyone?

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Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Graham Dawson
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I only saw the Captain Scarlet reboot last year but boy, what a nostalgia trip. It was the sort of thing the original Scarlet wanted to be.

Shame the broadcaster cocked it up...

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Boffins build elastic wires with liquid metal

Graham Dawson
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Re: Plastic

Plastic means flexible and soft. We tend to associate it with hardness because petrochemical "plastics" appear hard in comparison, but they're generally quite malleable.

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8086 and All That. Revisited

Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: Oh Yeah, Anglo Claptrap

The question is, were they turing complete?

Computer says no.

Babbage was the only one to work on a true general purpose computer that would have been turing complete if it was ever completed. Shame it wasn't, really. We could have ruled the world.

Moreso.

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iPhone tops US market, but trounced by Android in world+dog

Graham Dawson
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Re: Apple fanboys...

Example below...

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