* Posts by Graham Dawson

1574 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Graham Dawson
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Re: Apparently, we are special

Whenever I go away on holiday, if I make the mistake of mentioning that I'm an electrician (though not for much longer!) I invariably end up getting asked to fix the lights.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Systems architect here

"I have a feeling they might..."

My uncle is a civil engineer and he found a way to stop such questions pretty sharpish. He starts with the foundations. 2 metre floating slab steel-reinforced concrete, he says. You'll have to do a site survey he says. You'll need to do soil quality tests he says. Then he starts recommending quantities surveyors and suitable suppliers of RSJs for the core structural supports.

Then again, he once built a 3 ft extension to his house using the same design techniques he uses for bridges, so perhaps he was serious...

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A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

Graham Dawson
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For now, halogens in a "standard" bulb envelope will do that. They're more expensive than the incandescents were, but you can get two with an eddie screw at Ikea for about 2.50 (last time I checked anyway) and you can buy them with bayonet fittings from other suppliers.

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Living in the middle of a big city? Your broadband may still be crap

Graham Dawson
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Re: Four Yorkshiremen

You think that's tough? Our internet is two cups on a piece of string. If you want to download anything you 'ave to get aunty mabel to go look it up in t'newspaper an then warble into t'cup for an hour and hope you don't get a lost packet.

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I've got a super free multi-petabyte storage box for you: /dev/null

Graham Dawson
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Re: But, but...

For all practical purposes assume /dev/cloud is mapped to /dev/null and act accordingly.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Graham Dawson
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Re: Errm

Which part of "NFS is a network file system" don't you understand?

And whether it was included by default or not, Microsoft's POSIX subsystem was still a steaming pile of shite that was only partially compatible and only lumped in to claim it was there. It was useless.

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Graham Dawson
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Windows

Re: Errm

Well of course you can inflate those numbers quite nicely if you include the security issues in every single userland package and compare it to only the OS flaws in windows.

Windows had a POSIX-compatiblity subsystem up to windows 2k. It was optional. They had to buy in a proper POSIX compatibility layer to replace it and even that was marketed as a stand-alone product until recently. It was only included in windows by default from 7 forwards. Windows therefore has not been "POSIX-compatible" from the start. It has been at best optionally, partially compatible and if you knew anything about POSIX you'd understand that MS's own subsystem was a steaming pile of shite. Which is why they had to buy in another.

NFS is a network file system...

I give up. You haven't a clue.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Useful Service Pack

You can set up a local repository and configure your machines to update from that. If you're setting up your machines from a standard install image then this will be a trivial addition.

And Mint uses Apt, not yum. Yum is for RPM-based distros.

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Wind farms make you sick … with worry and envy

Graham Dawson
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I can think of a lot of much better reasons to pillory windfarms (or perhaps tilt at them... ;) ) such as their devastating effect on local bird populations - especially raptors and other large predatory birds. Or the way they mash bats. Then there's the problem of inefficiency, the fact that wind power is rarely around when you need it, has a very limited operating potential when the wind is blowing and requires equivalent conventional power generation as backup.

They aren't a viable source of energy and they cause immediate environmental harm. Getting sidetracked on silly things like "wind farm sickness" rather misses the point.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Graham Dawson
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Re: Earth is doomed?????

No. Worth is an intrinsically human concept. Without humans around, the planet would have nobody to grant it the attribute of worth, and would thus have none. It would merely exist.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Err...not sure 'the planet' is at risk...

Yeah, those damn sea kittens...

Oh you mean the human race? Well if you think it's an infestation why don't you do your part to reduce it and remove yourself?

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

Graham Dawson
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Re: So NASA is prone to self induced rover spasms

... seriously?

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Graham Dawson
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Re: TV Licence

Go read your license next time they send you a nastygram about it. You'll find that the Television License is to receive live broadcasts, not "to fund the BBC". Yes it's used to fund the BBC, but that isn't its stated purpose. It's a tax. And a regressive tax at that.

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OpenSUSE 12.3: Proof not all Linux PCs are Um Bongo-grade bonkers

Graham Dawson
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Re: Bad UI decisions may be part of the problem

A couple of years ago you could have gone to System Settings, clicked on Application Appearance and then on the big thing marked "colours" and adjusted all of these things to your heart's content. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are arguments to be made for grouping the font colours with the typeface settings rather than putting all the colour options in a single place. It might seem logical depending on how you like to organise things.

Of course windows doesn't do it that way either as far as I can recall.

The only clear difference between KDE and Windows is that in windows you can access these settings by right-clicking on the desktop which is an advantage, I won't deny it. But it's easy to find these options in KDE. You'd have to be wilfully blind to miss them.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Ok your story is nice, but I have to rant about this.

"my brother and I" makes no sense in your sentence. It's an example of false grammatical correctness - you've learned the rule that "me and my" is incorrect and applied ot universally. "My and I" only applies when you are the actor. When another is acting on you, it is "me and my".

The test is to take your brother out of the sentence.

"my dad bought I an Interface 2"

See the problem?

You're right about eproms though. Imagine how different the world would be.

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Microsoft backs law banning Google Apps from schools

Graham Dawson
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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

And what is that "real price"? Google are free to set the price of their services at whatever level they think the market can bear, just like any other provider of goods and services.

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BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED

Graham Dawson
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I was of course not accounting for Dear Nigel's ability to conjure defeat from whole cloth with a rhetorical flourish and then declare it a victory. UKIP might have got somewhere if not for his ego-driven need to own the entire thing.

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Graham Dawson
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Angel

They'd win on a landslide...

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BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Graham Dawson
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Why? We're an apex predator too, we can take on the role the wolves previously performed.

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Belgian boffins find colossal meteorite

Graham Dawson
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Re: no touching?

Obviously the solution is retrieval by android.

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Architect pitches builder-bothering 'Print your own house' plan

Graham Dawson
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Guy's behind the times. CNC is already in use in the building industry and it has to compete with other essentially flat-pack housing systems as well. I mentioned SIPs in another topic, you can get an entire house made up in those things and have it delivered on site for final assembly. You can buy a timber-frame house from Finland and have it assembled within a day of its arrival. Two on the outside. There are multiple systems available for doing this already.

I suppose the difference is on-site, but... to be honest, the economics of on-site fabrication just aren't viable. The cost of the machine, the materials, all the wastage you'll inevitably suffer, it wouldn't work. There's a reason timber and building materials are mass-produced in big centralised locations.

With this you'll end up with some two or three big companies mass-producing CNC parts for shipping to sites, because the economics dictate it can be no other way.

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SimCity 2000

Graham Dawson
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Black Helicopters

Re: Police stations

The weird thing? I've heard that same clip in programmes that purport to be documentaries. Same voice and inflection, which means either it's such a standard piece of police shorthand that it gets used everywhere and spoken in the same way, or... er...

Hey, anyone got any tinfoil?

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Sergey Brin emasculated after HORROR smartphone disaster

Graham Dawson
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Re: Confessions of a search engine Exec

He's right about TV even if the rest is... eh-heh. Five 9s of crap and the rest is just dumb. It seems telling that the biggest television phenomenon in the last ten years is My Little Pony. For good or for ill.

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No mobile signal? Blame hippies and their eco-friendly walls

Graham Dawson
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Have you seen the levels of natural background radiation over most of the planet? We were born in a sea of the stuff. All this bizarre panic over "TEH RADIATIONS is based on the assumption that any radiation at any dose is dangerous without any threshold which would, taken to its logical conclusion, require us to forgo sunlight entirely and live in a lead-lined faraday cube for the rest of our natural lives.

Except we need sunlight to produce vitamin D - specifically the mild ionising effect of UV radiation on cholesterols in our skin.

It's all in the dose.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Yes.

That's not entirely true. Certainly with the big builders there's a certain incentive to go cheap, but interior stud walls offer significant advantages over alternatives. For one they're quicker to build, they're lighter (you want to suggest building brickwork on a second storey floor with no support underneath?), they allow a certain flexibility when pulling wire and - believe it or not - they actually block sound better than other wall types as long as they're constructed right.

Solid walls carry sound like nobody's business. A properly built stud wall deadens it with the use of air gaps and insulation. They also hold heat in better. I should know, I'm living in a small block of flats I helped build and I can often have trouble hearing the wife just one room over when she's shouting at me.

Now it's possible we built to a higher standard than the rest of the industry, but I doubt it. We built to the regs as written.

You will not see exterior stud walls in this country ever. The closest you'll get is SIPs but those require cladding, either in the form of external decorative cladding or a regular brick skin with a minimal cavity.

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Hands-on with Ubuntu's rudimentary phone and tablet OS

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Re: High Hopes

localzuk, I would hope, if you're installing an OS for your grandmother, that you'd have the plain good sense and courtesy to set it up so she could actually use it.

All the things you pointed out will work on Debian if you set it up properly. Would you toss your grandmother into the cockpit of an aeroplane without flying lessons? Would you demand she cook you restaurant quality food without providing the proper ingredients and equipment? So why would you give her a debian install that wasn't configured with her needs in mind?

Maybe you just hate your grandmother?

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Chromebook app launcher touted to Chrome browser users

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

We can't post images directly, but this one expresses my thoughts quite nicely.

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This 320-gigapixel snap of London is size of Buckingham Palace

Graham Dawson
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Re: First fail found

First thing I spotted. What the heck?

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Ad-titan Google blocks Adblock Plus in Android security tweak

Graham Dawson
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Re: err. @ Adam 1

The clue, I think, is in the bit where he's watching TV. Battle all you like, when you're watching the gogglebox you've already lost the war and might as well turn your brain in at the nearest re-education facility.

And I never said my system was perfect. However, it's only on mobile. At home I selectively whitelist sites that I want to support, but I'm always ready to drop them off it again if they start flinging "dynamic" crap around in an attempt to upsell my user experience or whatever the buzzwords are these days.

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Graham Dawson
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Angel

Re: err.

I don't like ad-funded apps. I either pay for the app or Ifind one that doesn't have adverts in it.

I think I might be in a very tiny minority...

Still have adblock installed anyway. It catches a few of the more troublesome "adverts" that would otherwise reduce my browsing experience to a series of jerky slideshows before the browser gave up and crashed under the strain.

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MIT boffin teases space-station probe's DARK MATTER DISCOVERY

Graham Dawson
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I'm afraid, for now, we'll have to resort to good old whale oil.

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HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

Graham Dawson
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Re: I have been saying this for years...

Ok generally I think I agree, but the part where you claim nukes sitting in silos make profit for someone... they're a sunk investment (literally), paid for once, with most of the maintenance work being to keep them clean and dry. Most of them don't even have fuel in unless the US is on extremely high alert because it tends to leak out of the vents and corrode the tanks. By and large the only people making any money from a nuclear silo are the electricity companies.

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The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Whatever. Random acts of the cosmos are just that ...

On the other hand, it gives him three months to come up with an effective solution.

What the hell is wrong with commentards these days? The lot of you are such negative ninnies! Oh your solution isn't perfect, might as well kill yourself now and be done with it!

God in heaven...

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Fashionably slate

Graham Dawson
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Re: I want dumb TVs

Oddly enough, I have a solution to that one. The Raspberry Pi plugged into the USB port of my television powers on when I turn on the TV and switches it to the correct input with that there CEC feature. After that I do everything through XBMC, and when I tell XBMC to power off it shuts down the pi and then shuts down the TV along with it. Freaking marvellous it is.

In the interests of fairness there are downsides. I have to unplug the USB if I want to use my tv for anything that doesn't involve xbmc because otherwise it grabs the screen when I switch it on, which means a little bit of dinking to get it back and then mucking around to tell the pi to switch off the tv when I'm done. I don't watch broadcast television any more (and haven't for years - bye bye TV license!) but I do play a couple of xbox games now and then and the wife still occasionally pulls out the PS2 for her Final Fantasy fix.

Other than that it's bruddy marvellous.

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Inside Microsoft's Surface Pro: A fiendishly difficult journey

Graham Dawson
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A tablet with fans?

I own a second hand samsung series 7, primarily for the wacom digitiser in the screen. It has a fan. IT IS HORRENDOUS. If a tablet has a fan you're doing it wrong.

I'd use my Note 10.1 for all the mobile art things but there's not yet any equivalent of Paint Tool SAI on android - though sketchbook pro is pretty good (brush engine needs some work, the desktop version is far suprioer) and the Note works with the stylus from my cintiq (and indeed the stylus from my series 7) so I'll never want for spare pens.

In the end you just can't beat a proper desktop tablet screen, but now I can art while I'm flying over to see the inlaws, which is always nice.

Would you believe I'm an electrician? :D

And I seem to own a lot of samsung kit these days...

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Pope resigns months after launching social networking effort

Graham Dawson
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Re: AC @ 06:24

"A proper scientist dismisses explanations that don't fit the evidence"

No. NO. NO. That's not science. A proper scientist does not dismiss anything, he rather proposes a hypothesis that fits the current empirical evidence and then devises tests to disprove it with the hope of popping up new evidence for or against the particular hypothesis in the process. He never dismisses an explanation. In science, no explanation is ever accepted as 100% immutable truth because new and peculiar things crop up all the time, therefore no explanation can truly be rejected. They are simply demonstrated to be very unlikely.

It has been the case that explanations that didn't fit the current evidence later became accepted as valid when new evidence was brought to light after prediction by hypothesis. The theory of continental drift, for instance, did not fit "the current evidence" because nobody had yet discovered a viable mechanism, and it was thus rejected by the narrow-minded souls who you seem to evince as "proper scientists". It didn't fit the evidence, you see.

Argue all you want about the existence of gods, or lack thereof, but get your bloody definitions right first otherwise you're just mouthing off without any basis in reality.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: My thoughts on the matter?

Oh god, don't tell me I'm still on this fecking social network!

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Boffins make bio-chip breakthrough

Graham Dawson
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It's the bit where we all turn into slightly worrying membranes that I'm concerned with.

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Graham Dawson
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Suddenly Greg Bear's Blood Music seems less fanciful and more than a little worryingly real...

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George Bush's family emails, pics ransacked - and spewed online

Graham Dawson
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Completely unrelated

"get the film of their choice torrented and delivered personally by Andrew Orlowski."

I think I just gave myself a hernia from laughing so hard.

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

Graham Dawson
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Re: Crud generators.

Twilight, you're assuming that the wiring in your older building will be up to the required standard. Often it isn't. I could tell you horror stories about the wiring in ostensibly refurbished old buildings and I can tell you right now that none of them would have supported any sort of PLT installation. Wireless repeaters would be more reliable. Given the cost of having to strip and replace all the wiring to make PLT reliable you'd be as well to just install cat5/6 alongside anyway. You'd get a more reliable, higher bandwidth signal and more scope for modification in future if you leave in enough redundancy. Plus you can run phones down it.

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Graham Dawson
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@heyrick Re: Crud generators.

You mean you don't have a landline trailed out behind your car wherever you go?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: FprEN50561-1:2012 is not a standard!

It's a step. That's all that matters.

Celebrate progress! Another step! Onwards to the bright future! It's different!

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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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Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Thanks dogged, I was feeling terrible today, I needed a good laugh.

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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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